Sunday, January 16, 2011


I touched on the concept of time in an earlier post. A lot of people like to think of time as the fourth dimension. Time isn't the fourth dimension, it is simply the way we perceive the fourth dimension.

Now, I'm no physicist. Not even close. I have a degree in political science. Even so, I like to picture the fourth dimension as one of those note paper cubes that people keep next to their phones. "WHAT?!" you're probably thinking. "CUBES ARE THREE-DIMENSIONAL SHAPES YOU CLOD!!". That they are my overly-excited friend, but consider the following and settle down for chrissake.

As three-dimensional beings, we can perceive the first dimension (a straight line), the second dimension (a square) and the third dimension (a cube). What about a two-dimensional being? He's stuck in his two-dimensional square, unable to picture what the third dimension even looks like. But wait, he IS percieving the third piece at a time.

That's where the paper cube comes in. Each square of paper represents a frame in time for the two-dimensional being. We, as three-dimensional beings, see the cube as a whole. Therefore, we see the entire existence of the two-dimensional being at once. Nay, the existence of his entire universe at once. He travels through the square, one piece at a time, we see the entire square all at once.

Why should the fourth dimension be any different? Four-dimensional beings see the course of our entire lives all at once, as some kind of big blob of cubes. Our separate cubes (moments in time) stack up together to create some kind of awesome fourth-dimensional note paper...thing.

No I'm not on drugs.


  1. actually I don't think you're on drugs, you just described it the way some really advanced physicists in the world today think it works

    also, have you read the book flatland? it's a book about a guy who lives in a 2d world who travels to different dimensions. it's pretty short and a good read, you should check it out

  2. this is deep man.....

    when did you think of this?

  3. That book sounds pretty good. I like short reads.

    I thought about this when I was looking at an animated .gif of what the fourth dimension was supposed to look like and not understanding it.

  4. >>No I'm not on drugs.

    ;) gotcha. So . . . . about dem drugs . . . you sharing with me right?

    Anywho, in all seriousness, awesome post, I definitely agree with this.

  5. Pretty interesting stuff. Physics is some mystifying awesomeness.

  6. The first thing i thought when i heard cubes was "Minecraft"... Do I game too much?