Ernst Mach insists that acceleration can be defined as only relative to the distant stars… Albert Einstein hammers out equations for this, and thus explains gravity in his General Theory of Relativity.
Mach has heard that he is being hailed as a predecessor to Relativity. He is not pleased.
Vienna 1912. Einstein and Mach meet to address the atom as a “visualizing symbol.” Mach not only refuses to accept the existence of atoms, he thinks a lot of Relativity is bullshit and he tells Einstein so.
The human mind has its own inertia, I reckon. Even the human mind that developed Universal Laws about Inertia.
According to Grolier’s, Mach “was suspicious of any thought (including scientific hypotheses) that was incapable of being reduced to direct observation…” This leads us to the Cosmological Battle between Inertia (Mach’s Principle) and Gravitation (Einstein’s General Relativity); as far as Special Relativity goes, Einstein never did the math to Mach’s satisfaction… The Mach Theorem of Inertia not only disagrees with Newton’s notion of absolute time and space, but it also challenged Einstein to explain what was affecting the orbit and velocity of both celestial bodies and photons… Einstein proves to be more or less right with General Relativity… Mach feels that space is empty (his fallacy), while Einstein alludes to gravitational forces (later shown to be “dark matter”)… Unfortunately, empirically speaking, by that time Mach croaks… Forthwith Einstein coaches the scientific community from the sidelines on the best way to bomb the shit out of the Axis Powers. Again, from Grolier’s, “Mach died in the very year that Einstein published his major paper on general relativity; neither of these two giant intellects was ever fully in accord with the other.”