I found the first chapter of B3D somewhat disappointing. I felt as though it were taunting me. It seemed to withold knowledge from the reader in a deliberate manner. This almost comes across as condescension.

Basically, I think that the problem was that I have pondered the problems of general dimensionality many, many times before, and the first chapter, obviously intended as introduction, failed to raise issues that were truly new for me. This complaint is probably very peculiar to me, however, as I grant that for most people, it is not immediately clear how just how rich and interesting a field the study of higher dimensions can be.

I think that whenever I have read something about 4+ dimensions, I come away oddly disappointed, because the books can't quite offer me what I truly want from my studies of the fourth dimension. As silly and admittedly irrational as it is, I really want to have the same sort of epiphany as A Square has when the sphere lifts him out of Flatland. I want not only to know facts about a hypercube, but to _lay eyes_ on one, and have some true idea of what hypervolume really is, in the same way I have intuitive understandings of the concepts of length, area, and volume. This is almost surely too much to ask of a book, and probably too much to ask of anyone or anything.

What I find most interesting about the issues raised is the potential for outright magic to be performed. If there actually were corporeal higher dimensional beings looking down on our hyperplane, they would in every normal sense of the word be gods. The most tightly secured safe anywhere would be as open to them as anything. Essentially, physics (as I admittedly poorly understand them) would be broken as far as we Spacelanders could see. If we couldn't count on objects "existing" (ie, being perceptible to us) from one moment to another, it doesn't seem like a terribly impressive amount of logical reasoning about the laws governing our world could be possible, even though the world would in fact be deterministically organized.

All of this does lead one to ponder mysticism and the like, and as a fairly skeptical person, I am not generally wont to do so.

This is a fairly general skim over my feelings regarding this chapter, but that seems to be about what is expected, no? I realize that there is some digression into things not explicitly explored in chapter one, but this was the sort of thought it provoked in me.

Keith Adams Keith_Adams@brown.edu