“I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space.”

FlatlandIf I walked you around my treasured collection of books, I’d probably pull Flatland off the shelf and describe the influence of this story penned by the title’s author…A. Square.

A few days ago, I wondered if anyone else was amazed by this little book and I did a keyword search on YouTube only to find an amazing video that captures the essence of the book – a reasonable explanation of multiple dimensions.

The real author’s name is Edwin A. Abbott and from what I know, he wrote a satirical work that criticized his societal observations in the nineteenth century, but instead he influenced a whole new chain of cosmologist and mathematicians with his clever story about a place where only two dimensions prevail – left or right – no up or down. Some have described this as a “once-in-a-millenium revelation.”

I can’t remember the first time I heard about this book, but I do remember reading it several years ago in a book by renowned cosmologist and thinker Michio Kaku. His book, Hyperspace explored topics like black holes, worm-holes, super-string theory and the possibilities of multiple dimensions. Heady thoughts too and I imagine that’s why I fell in love with Flatland. This small story has profound implications for thinkers who can explore the thought.

Edwin A. AbbottI was even more surprised as I dove into Google with a keyword search looking for an image of Abbott. I found a young face and a white old man, but to my greater suprise, someone is making a movie about Flatland. It was a bit discouraging to see Martin Sheen as the voice from the third-dimension, but I’m glad the concept is working itself out into some sort of mainstream. For me, I’m happy to have a first edition of the small blue book that is the envy of my other paper-bound treasures.

Here’s the movie from YouTube (below) and here’s the trailer for “Flatland” the movie, which looks like a teacher’s course.