Since May 8, 1999

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"Fair Witness" is a profession invented by Robert Heinlein in his novel 'Stranger in a Strange Land'. Heinlein does not spend much time actually defining what a Fair Witness is, letting the description come out in the narrative in several places. A concise description, from a book review of 'Stranger' on Amazon.com, is as follows: "The concept of a Fair Witness is intriguing. This is a profession trained to be absolutely impartial witnesses, with total recall. Their testimony in court is considered solid fact."

Point to a white house and ask a Fair Witness what color it is and he/she will tell you "white on this side". They will not guess that the whole house is the same as the part they can see, but only report what they sense and experience directly.

I chose this screen name not because I have those talents, but because I wish I had them. Thinking of the concept behind this screen name often helps keep me from going off half-cocked, especially when the subject is politics.