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The Review Man

Formerly of Goodreads, now of both words, in the coming times only here?

Currently reading

Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood
Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals
Robert M. Pirsig
Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)
Jean Baudrillard, Sheila Faria Glaser
Leaven of Malice
Robertson Davies
The Salterton Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Effi Briest (Penguin Classics)
Theodor Fontane
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
Nicholas Ostler
Cases And Materials On The Law Of Torts
Robert M. Solomon
Public Law : Cases Materials and Commentary
Philip Bryden, Craik, Neil, Craig Forcese, Forcese, Craig
A Property Law Reader
Bruce H. Ziff
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions - Banesh Hoffmann, Edwin A. Abbott If you've ever wondered about the fourth dimension or beyond, Flatland isn't going to be that revelatory. But it's when you apply Flatland's logic to our world that you really reap the benefits.

What's perhaps most interesting is the ethics of Pointland, Lineland and Flatland and their differing opinions on intelligence, marriage and theology. It's enough to make you wonder if humanity, even in all its Third Dimension glory, hasn't got everything all right. Polygamy is the rule in Lineland, but they're hopelessly out of touch with reality, right? But what would happen if Fourth Dimensional beings showed up on Earth — would they find our customs sane or completely ridiculous?

That raises an interesting logistical question: assuming they exist, how would Fourth Dimensional beings appear in our world? It's possible they might appear and disappear at will (like the square in Lineland) or change size rapidly (like the sphere in Flatland). In fact, they'd probably be able to circumvent traditional security measures. Does Flatland make a case for aliens or religion, or is it merely a consciousness-raising thought experiment?

I wonder if they read in the Fourth Dimension. If they do, they'd probably find Flatland hopelessly ignorant. But to us, stuck in the Third Dimension, Flatland is the best we have.