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.