Can you do other things better than an Olympic skier can? I can program better than most people, but that doesn't make me a better person in total.
Probably pretty much everything not related to sports, if their media personae is anything to go by, but that is quite beside the point. Equality I'm talking about does not deal with "better" or "worse," it deals with "similar" or "dissimilar." I'm pretty sure that is true for what I think
the equality you are talking about is, too. On the largest, most general umbrella level, it is a useless construct when examining comparatively tiny objects, as I have tried to demonstrate with my Universe example.
Can you do everything better than a janitor?
I am reasonably certain that I can perform most functions better than that one, yes. Your point?
The point I am trying to make, is that while we may be able to assess and compare some abilities fairly well, when we try to assess an entire person against another entire person (which is not only a time consuming process, but also very likely to be highly skewed by biases), we cannot accurately score them up and see what the total value is as to whether they are equal or not.
Of course, we can. We just don't. Again, I think we are talking past each other. There is a meaning to the term "equality" which pertains to having equal rights, social standing... That kind of things. I think that is the equality you are talking about. What I am talking about, spurred on by your initial proposition, is the more mathematical meaning of the word, pertaining to the comparability of the operands. To put it slightly "out there," A and B are equal systems if their output for the same input is similar within a narrow margin of error. Output of what, you may ask. Well, whatever it is you are trying to compare.
If you want to narrow the term, then I accept your playing field to be a good and valid one. If not, then I maintain that if you want to play with umbrellas, mine is the shiniest.
Being equal does not equal being the same.
No. Sameness is not what I am talking about either. In the physical world in which we live, if A is the same as B, then A is
B. If A is, in fact, not
B, then it has to be different. Occupy different coordinates within a common coordinate system for instance. Similar
is not strongly synonymous with same
. The latter is a special case of the former.
At the end of the day, as Recusant has ever-so-indirectly pointed out, equality is a construct that depends on certain variables for its viability. Basically, you have to define its boundaries when talking about it. Without those, it's just an empty word.