Bruno Marchal wrote:
GL wrote:We agree on most things except on the terms relative and absolute. How strange that we should disagree precisely on those terms! This is the proof that the meaning of these terms is relative to our mental states and that our frame of reference must be different!
OK let's agree at least that our terminology should be consistent with Einstein's. For example when Einstein says that length is a relative quantity he means that two observers occupying inertial frames of reference in motion relative to each other perceive the length of an object differently. On the other hand, such observers perceive a charge as an absolute quantity because in spite of their motion, the charge of an object appears identical to both observers. A third person in yet another frame of reference would perceive the charge exactly the same as those first two obsevers. Hence length is relative and dependent on the observer's frame of reference, and charge is absolute and independent on the observer's frame of reference. In the context of relativity, first person = subjective = relative and third person = objective = absolute.
Now let's move on to a Q-suicide experiment that parallels Einstein's scenario: two observers occupy different frames of reference because their continuing existence is differently contingent on a particular event (such as winning a lottery ticket). They perceive this particular event differently. As length in Einstein's relativity, this event is relative to the observers: its value or occurence depends on the observers' frame of reference. On the other hand, another event such as the movement of the moon, that has no effect or an equal effect on the life of these observers, is perceived to be absolute: like charge in relativity, the value of this event is the same for both observers or for a hypothetical third person.
Are you ready for some definition? (We can abandon for a while the "absolute"/"relative" opposite view giving that we agree on the 1/3 distinction and on the subjective/objective opposition, and that's what counts in the interview of the Universal Machine (and its Godelian "Guardian Angel").
I still wish to resolve our disagreement of the terms relative and absolute because it may indicates some roadblocks in narrowing the gap. Remember, you begin with an absolute formulation but end up with a relative one and I argued that you had no justification for starting with the third person (absolute?) formulation. My goal was to (help you?) achieve the ultimate relativization.
However, yes I am ready for some definitions. :-)