JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
Edwin Abbott’s slender Flatland, a Romance of Many Dimensions is perhaps one of the best books ever written on perception and dimensions, a beautifully insightful book that was quick and sharp, and in spite of all that was also a best-seller. Written in 1884 when Abbott was 46 (Abbott would live another 46 years and enjoy the book’s popular reception), it introduces the reader to a two dimensional world with a social structure in which the more sides of your object equals power and esteem. Thus the lowest class would be a triangle (three sides) while the highest (priestly) class would be mega-polygons whose shape would approach a circle. Abbott’s magistry comes in explaining to the three-dimensional reader what it was like to be in a two-dimensional world.