Chris Webb's BI Blog

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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

with 3 comments

After a long, hard day struggling with your cube, what better way to relax than with some multidimensional entertainment? Over the years I’ve had lots of conversations with people in the BI industry about the problems people have with learning to think multidimensionally, and something that has cropped up several times is the book "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions", written over a century ago by Edwin Abbott. It’s a book I’ve been meaning to buy for a while, and a quick browse on Amazon reveals that several other people have written similar books; indeed, as Christian Wade pointed out to me last year, there seems to be a whole internet subculture to do with imagining what life with more or less dimensions would be like, for example:
http://tetraspace.alkaline.org/
 
Anyway, the reason I’m blogging about this now is that Flatland, with a little bit of updating (as is always the way), has been turned into a film:
http://flatlandthefilm.com/index.html
Seems to have some good reviews too… I wonder if it’ll ever get a release in the UK? They should organise a gala showing at the Microsoft BI Conference!
 

Written by Chris Webb

February 19, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Posted in Off-topic

3 Responses

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  1. I read Flatland (which, I believe, in the US was published without post colon) when I was a teenager in the 1970s studying geometry and many other things (girls, art, girls, movies, girls…) without understanding much of any of it.  The book fascinated me, and I went on (probably not because of it, but certainly in appreciation of it) to study Mathematics at University.  I even sometimes bring it up in my consulting engagements as a way to explain how different types think of their world and learn.  While there are different dimensions represented in the book, there are different learning styles, different socioeconomic exposures, different interests, different *people* we all have to deal with.  I\’d recommend Flatland to anyone who wants to take a different slant on why we are all different.
     
    Wait, this sounds more like an Amazon post, but I thank Chris for bringing this back to me.  I will post to Amazon, but before you all go back to your cubes to study your cubes, think about checking out this truly great read!

    Marc

    February 20, 2007 at 1:51 am

  2. Hi there – I like the reference to flatland – you can see the whole book at http://downlode.org/etext/flatland/ also there are 2 modern films of the book: flatland the movie (http://www.flatlandthemovie.com/) and flatland the film (http://www.flatlandthefilm.com/).  This is a great story and a must read for anyone interested in concepts of awareness of dimensionality N+1.  The parallels with many modern sci-fi stories and modern physics theorems (e.g. string theory) is fascinating. 

    Andrew Sadler

    February 28, 2007 at 9:22 pm

  3. Hi Chris -
     
    Just to let you know, we\’re selling a Special Collector\’s Limited Edition DVD of Flatland the Film at the moment, but only 1000 copies. Once that\’s done, the film will go into general release.

    Unknown

    March 12, 2007 at 7:51 pm


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