Discussion Board

Topic: Tangents - the story

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 03/16/2008

It's a neat idea and story...but I call on a few things. First off, we can't just easily 'warp' into two dimensions, if there is even really such a thing. I think one of the big pointers here is it takes three dimensions to depict two, etc. Of course, science can't 'depict', but can only point at, physical spaces greater than three dimensions. It doesn't mean we don't actually exist within a hyper-dimensional frame set. Science just can't (yet) extrapolate and then confirm that. My point is, it's neat to think and talk about such ideas, but then anthorpomorphizing them in any fashion I think jumps the shark and misses the point. I think you'll be interested in Stephen Baxter's (arguably more successful) attempt, a story I forget the name of, in his VACUUM DIAGRAMS.

Re: Tangents - the story

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/02/2008

Not quite sure what you're getting at here--TANGENTS postulates the ability to perceive 4D beings. And if you attract their attention, they can uproot you--pip! you vanish. It's a fantasy of course, but one of the sort I've always enjoyed. What's the name of the Baxter tale? (And by the by, I highly recommend Rudy Rucker's collection, THE MATHENAUTS and Others, plus Clifton Fadiman's MATHEMAGICAL MAGPIE.)

Re: Tangents - the story

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 04/02/2008

I know it postulates that. And I was punching a hole in it. Fortunately, you seem less interested in such fantasy, of late. I know of Rucker, but he's seems so 60s hip throw-back, I can't get into him. I'll check out Fadiman. And, I'm still looking into that Baxter story.....

Re: Tangents - the story

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/15/2008

Rudy's one of the most advanced thinkers out there. Sometimes I get him, sometimes I don't--but his ideas are always worth serious thought. Rudy has an impressive (and wild) essay in a new book I'm reviewing at the moment, YEAR MILLION, edited by Damien Broderick, from Atlas and Co.

Re: Tangents - the story

From: Rosie Oliver
Location: Chipping Sodbury, England
Date: 11/13/2010

I have just read Rudy Rucker's Spaceland which deals with a 4D universe... it's a lovely story, but I could not accept it as even slightly possibly believable on a scientific level.

There were two sticking points for me. The first was that a spherical retina can only 'see' 3D - where is the other 3D retina to get the depth vision to see 4D? The second was that adding an eye means there has to be some form of brain change or enhancement to to be able to process the light signals from the new eye. There was no mention of such a brain enhancement.

Happy cogitations, Rosie

Re: Tangents - the story

From: Greg Bear
Date: 11/19/2010

Interesting objections, of course, but photons are points at impact. And time is a variety of fourth dimension already... I'm not yet completely clear on how lenses convert three-dimensional fuzziness into usable clarity! Optically, this might be a much more complicated issue than I can solve! HELP! Any thoughts, opticians and physicists?

Re: Tangents - the story

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 11/19/2010

This is an old thread. I forgot what Tangents was about, and had to go back. I'm not sure I remember what Baxter I was even referring to....though it might've been Reality Dust, which is not in Vacuum Diagrams.

By the way, check out this new cover rendition for Tangents. Some simple alterations, but way cool.

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/greg-bear/tangents.htm

Re: Tangents - the story

From: Greg Bear
Date: 11/26/2010

This was actually the Warner Books cover of TANGENTS the collection, taken from the UK Jim Burns cover for EON.

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