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February 12, 2005

Black driveway


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A dear and close personal friend encouraged me to take the hemispheric dominance test . In true Libran fashion, my brain is evenly balanced 9 to 9 right/left. I once had to lecture on the psychology of creativity, and, in doing the preparation, discovered that it is important for the artist to have a little something going on in both sides of the brain, since it is important to be able to organize and complete projects once one has conceived of them. I eagerly related this factoid to a completely disinterested group of the colored and pierced , who obviously had no difficulty organizing their personal decoration.

I had some visceral reactions a few questions on the test. For example, I HATED geometry. I had to memorize every single theorem word for word, and not one ever made a bit of sense to me. Recently I have warmed to the subject due to my belated discovery of Sacred Geometry, as it pops into my camera.

And then there is Thomas Banchoff, Brown mathematician and fourth dimension explorer. He is doing for the fourth dimension, what Edwin Abbott did for the third in Flatland, helping us to conceptualize what might be going on all around us in the fourth dimension as we perceive in three. Take a peek at the animations of a three dimensional cube moving through a two dimensions, and you will get an idea of just what you might perceive about a third dimension if you happened to be flat.

Now extrapolate to what might be happening around you in the fourth dimension as you kick around in the third. As Banchoff says in his introduction to the Princeton University Press edition of "Flatland", "All of us are slaves to the prejudices of our own dimension".

Then allow me to take a flying leap , way over my head, to dark energy, black holes , white and wormholes and make the assumption that they are all fourth dimensional phenomena, and thus quite elusive to those of us who find ourselves embedded right here in good ole 3-D.

Banchoff has a whole page of beautiful computer animations to illustrate fourth dimension goings on. He was a friend of Salvador Dali's , who was not the only artist to be inspired by the dimension four.

"[In Flatland] Abbott challenged his readers to imagine trying to understand the nature of phenomena in higher dimensions if all they could see directly were lower-dimensional slices. That is precisely the situation that radiologists face today as they analyze the slices produced by CAT scans or magnetic resonance imaging."

"The slicing technique from Flatland still remains one of the most powerful tools for dealing with aggregates in higher dimensions."
- Thomas Banchoff, from the Introduction to the Princeton University Press edition of Flatland.

Photo note: Here we are back on my new black driveway, a personal flatland.

Posted by Dakota at February 12, 2005 06:07 AM