When I first learned about string theory with the implication that there are more dimensions than the ones we know— one dimension: a point; two dimensions: a line; three dimensions; a solid; and four dimensions: time; or maybe all put together: space-time.
Yet, a point, a line, are not real, they are conceptual tools which we all use for communication with others, for designing and building, and so on. iI your room is 10″ x 12″ you don’t go out and buy a rug which is 15″ x20.” Even Euclid in “The Elements” was definitive that a point and line are not real but concepts
So if the dimensions we know are not real then how can there be more of something that is not real? But look at a shadow, the absence of light surrounded by light, it is indeed two dimensional and it is a real thing, we have a word for it and everywhere there are people they have a common empirical experience and agree on what it is, a shadow.
Actually of course a shadow is three dimensional (as Bob’s wife pointed out to me), we do not see its three dimensionality because a shadow needs a medium , a three dimensional object on which to appear, however in the space between the object and the shadow it is dark but we d usually o not see it, although if you are hiking in the mountains or walking among the caverns of tall buildings in a city in the late afternoon you do experience this “in between” darkness.
So I thought I would make some images of my shadow to explore this .
There was a famous satirical book titled “Flatland” written by Edwin Abbott in1884 in which he makes a story about the interrelations between “beings ” who are points, lines, two dimensional and solids and how they experience each other. There is a “point land” and a “line land” and “polygon land“ mixed in together.
A line would experience a square as a line, a point cannot experience a line, polygon or a sphere and so in the society these things have little or no ability to “know” each other.
The result is much like the chaos we see in society where some politicians (demagogues) identify “groups” in society and try to establish their career by generating antagonism and if successful, hate and violence between the groups.
One problem with politics is that lying, using violence, lacking compassion, empathy, remorse, integrity will appeal to man ypeople, its not like making a product which can be judged by whether it works or not, in politics the promises of demagogues may often sound better than the reality of life.
But words are pretty empty, and unrealized words (promises) about a better future often sound more hopeful than today’s reality to many people, and yet no matter how many times the promises fail to materialize, to many, empty promises sound better than today’s realities.
Perhaps even more interesting, even when the promises are realized there are those politicians who will deny that the promises were ever realized and they will still attract a following. Anyway while these Shado images do not promise anything, they are not making any promises to you. Hopefully as you go out and about your day there will be moments when you look around and see your own shadow on a wall, on the top of car, and remember it will always be there with you and for you.