Saturday, 7 January 2017

Kinds Of Dimensions

In a flat plane, the two dimensions are merely different directions. They are interchangeable and neither is "higher" than the other although, of course, the plane itself is broader than either of its two dimensions. Our third dimension is literally higher and it is harder to travel in that direction although only because of the local gravitational field. The temporal dimension is qualitatively different at least in our experience. A hypothetical dimension along which alternative universes coexisted would be a third kind of dimension.

How many dimensions and kinds of dimensions are there? In Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series, a Patrol trainer says that there are theoretically 4N dimensions. These include at least three spatial and at least two temporal dimensions but what are the other 4N - 5? Alan Moore's Asmodeus says:

"'...there are ten, or at a pinch eleven...'"
-Alan Moore, Jerusalem (London, 2016), p. 405.

Asmodeus also says:

"'Everything in the universe of space and time is going on at once, occurring in a glorious super-instant with the dawn of time on one side of it and time's end upon the other.'" (p. 412)

This suggests two possible metaphors:

a series of still photographs represents a person's life from birth to death;
several films are playing simultaneously, each showing, e.g., a different day, week, month etc of the person's life.

See Between Blogs And Dimensions.

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