Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Flatland by Edwin A Abbott

What more can be said about the concreteness of the dimensions? After all, a fourth dimension? Unimaginable? In actuality, the fourth dimension exists as time. But the fourth dimension of space?

This problem was trekked in 1884 by Edwin A. Abbott, by writing of life in two dimensions, where the main character is A. Square. A. Square describes life in two dimensions, and also his own journey to be knowledgeable of three dimensions.

The purpose of the story is to show societal and perceptive limitations. As it was written in 1884, it is often offensively sexist, but the questions posed by it often appear in science today, such as with the new string theories which involve as many as eleven dimensions. Unusually timely in its soul, Flatland is worthwhile for geeks and philosophers alike.

Reviewed by Jaclyn

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