Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

28o 
MEMORIES OF MY LIFE 
order of their estimated merit were marched to the 
middle of the hall to the tune of the “Conquering 
Hero,” and received their costly prizes in the form of 
athletic groups in gold, silver, or bronze. 
The point that especially interested me was that 
I had done my best to form just decisions of my 
own, and that I had already selected those who came 
second and third as among the best three. But I 
had wrongly classed the first prizeman. However, 
after the judges had made their award I recognised 
the superior justness of their estimate to my own. 
The power of classifying men correctly, by mere 
inspection, seemed to me much greater after this 
experience than before. 
A little more than a year ago, I happened to be at 
Plymouth, and was interested in a Cattle exhibition, 
where a visitor could purchase a stamped and 
numbered ticket for sixpence, which qualified him to 
become a candidate in a weight-judging competition. 
An ox was selected, and each of about eight hundred 
candidates wrote his name and address on his ticket, 
together with his estimate of what the beast would 
weigh when killed and “ dressed ” by the butcher. 
The most successful of them gained prizes. The result 
of these estimates was analogous, under reservation, 
to the votes given by a democracy, and it seemed 
likely to be instructive to learn how votes were dis¬ 
tributed on this occasion, and the value of the result. 
So I procured a loan of the cards after the ceremony 
was past, and worked them out in a memoir published 
in Nature [177-8]. It appeared that in this instance 
the vox populi was correct to within 1 per cent, of the 
real value ; it was 1207 pounds instead of 1198 pounds,
        

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