Absolute or unconditionally existent is a word with two meanings which are often confused with one another. In most philosophy, the Absolute or the Unknowable is the word used for the highest or ultimate being, typically conceived of as encompassing “all being” or “the entire universe”. In religious terms, the Absolute or the Lord or God is often conceived as a single entity or being existing apart from and independent from the universe. The question of what is the absolute varies depending on the philosophical perspective.
While both definitions may be right, both are not the same. The word “absolute” has a negative connotation and in common use means “not defined as”. Using absolute advantage to define the concept helps clarify the meaning. Using absolute advantage in comparison to others provides some insight as to the relative merits of life.
On an atlas, there are two cities: one that you can travel to from another and the other that cannot. Absolute advantage for one traveler is defined as being at the very best location possible for that one traveler, while being at zero rest against gravity. Absolute advantage for another traveler is defined as being at rest and in exactly the exact position for that one traveler. To put it another way, when absolute advantage is compared to other variables, absolute advantage is clearly the best option.
If you throw four pigs in a hole, do you know which of the pigs will fall out? Well, of course you know because you have already thrown four pigs in a hole before. Similarly, if you throw a brick wall, there is a good chance that you will have a wall where one wall meets another, while there is not a wall where all the bricks will meet. Now imagine if you had four guns and each of the guns had an aim. There is no telling that brick wall you would end up shooting through or that brick you would shoot through.
However, on an atlas, you can place four slabs on top of each other and place your gun over the top of the fourth slab. If you use the same method for taking your atlas on and off over, you will have four walls that you have to fire through. This scenario can be played out indefinitely. In fact, the question becomes which is more important to survive: to have an absolute advantage over the competition or to have four slabs that will help you win an atlas games.
The answer as it relates to value is harder to quantify. However, you can make a rough estimate as to the value by comparing your own slabs to the others in your row. Assume that each of the slabs is placed one tile from the left of the atlantica square. You then multiply the number of slabs that you have by the number of turns to turn the game. For example, if you have 16 turns, that works out to one turn of game time. The value of an atlas game to you may not be the same as to someone else.
Another factor that may impact on the value of the game may be the difficulty of reaching the end goal. If you are playing a marble Atlantic game and you are playing against someone who has been playing for decades and who knows the rules and strategies, you have a big advantage. If you are playing against somebody who is brand new to atlantica, their strategy and knowledge of the game can only go so far and they may hit a lot of bricks early in the game.
If you have mastered the rules of the game and understand the value of using absolute on your turn, then you have maximized your value. So the value of an atlas game to you may still be relative to another person’s. It all depends on how good of a player that you are and how lucky that person is. Remember absolute is still used in the game and it is not about chance. The better a player is at playing it, the more likely he or she will hit on an absolute.