0721: "Flatland"

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0721: "Flatland"

Postby PhantomPhanatic » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:09 am UTC

Image

Title Text: "Also, I apologize for the time I climbed down into your world and everyone freaked out about the lesbian orgy overseen by a priest."

I happened to find the lesbian orgy bit hilarious. Flatland was awesome.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Omegaton » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:12 am UTC

I haven't ever read Flatland... I really want to try out this Miegakure game though!

Link: http://marctenbosch.com/miegakure/
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby jacqueline » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:12 am UTC

Ok, this one is just mean! I want to play in four dimensions too! But the game is not yet released... sadness exists.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby pgn674 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:13 am UTC

"What's up?" ... Hah, I laughed pretty hard at that.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby rwald » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:16 am UTC

Anyone have a link to download the game? It sounds pretty awesome; just a couple of days ago, I was trying to work through a four-dimensional thought experiment (in particular, convincing myself that the locus of points in R4 located X units from point A and Y units from point B is a sphere, so long as none of X, Y, or the distance from A to B are as large as the other two added together), and had to be guided through seeing how it worked. Our brains aren't meant to handle this stuff.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby PhantomPhanatic » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:18 am UTC

pgn674 wrote:"What's up?" ... Hah, I laughed pretty hard at that.


I caught that right away. Only North, South, East, and West exists in Flatland.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:19 am UTC

Flatland is pretty good...it's a Victorian satire where those shapes with the most sides are higher up in society, and women are just lines. When a sphere comes to visit the square and explain 3D, he's all confused, but once he gets it (by visiting 1D and 0D), he decides to spread the word, which gets him locked away.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Flatland

It's easy and quick to read.

PhantomPhanatic wrote:
pgn674 wrote:"What's up?" ... Hah, I laughed pretty hard at that.


I caught that right away. Only North, South, East, and West exists in Flatland.


I think they had the word "Up" but it was synonymous with "north".
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Ethliel » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:21 am UTC

I'm assuming the "lesbian orgy" thing is some reference to what different types of people look like in flatland and the shape of a stick person's body?
I really need to read that book...
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby rwald » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:25 am UTC

Ethliel wrote:I'm assuming the "lesbian orgy" thing is some reference to what different types of people look like in flatland and the shape of a stick person's body?
I really need to read that book...

In Flatland, women are lines. So the lines composing a typical xkcd stick figure...well, it's unlikely a priest (which would be a circle, or more properly a polygon with too many sides to feasibly count) would stand by in approval.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby glasnt » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:25 am UTC

Why did I think the alt-text had something to do with ceiling cat?

Also,

HI JOEE
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby jspenguin » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:26 am UTC

Ethliel wrote:I'm assuming the "lesbian orgy" thing is some reference to what different types of people look like in flatland and the shape of a stick person's body?
I really need to read that book...


Basically, social rank is based on how many lines a polygon has. Women are line segments, low-class males are isosceles triangles, then equlateral triangles, and so on. The priests have so many sides that they are considered circles.

So a lesbian orgy overseen by a priest would be a bunch of lines topped by a circle.
Code: Select all
from __future__ import skynet
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:28 am UTC

rwald wrote:
Ethliel wrote:I'm assuming the "lesbian orgy" thing is some reference to what different types of people look like in flatland and the shape of a stick person's body?
I really need to read that book...

In Flatland, women are lines. So the lines composing a typical xkcd stick figure...well, it's unlikely a priest (which would be a circle, or more properly a polygon with too many sides to feasibly count) would stand by in approval.

OOOhhhh. Now it makes sense. I can't believe that went over my head.
Omegaton wrote:I haven't ever read Flatland... I really want to try out this Miegakure game though!

Link: http://marctenbosch.com/miegakure/
Where is the link?
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby nonne » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:29 am UTC

Also, I apologize for the time I climbed down into your world and everyone freaked out about the lesbian orgy overseen by a priest.


Oh man I haven't laughed so hard in forever. Shame XKCD-guy had to make it the throwaway joke, what with it being dependent on having read a semi-obscure work of math nerd fiction and all.

/And for the record, anyone who doesn't get that joke is pretty damn lame
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby ritvax » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:32 am UTC

I think I'm one of the few art majors to ever read Flatland! It was on my dad's bookshelf, and he wasn't much of a math person either. I'm actually quite surprised there have been no A. Square or other Flatland references until now! I think Flatland is like a primordial xkcd, the original math nerd's satire!

I didn't get the alt-text, but that's life.

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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Simplex » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:42 am UTC

"That was out of line"..... *groan*

Great comic, reminds me i need to get my hands on a physical copy of flatland still.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Latinate » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:45 am UTC

This comic made me so happy today... Not just because I've loved Flatland for years, but because Randall came to a convention this weekend and during a discussion he put up a version of this comic as one he said he would never put online. I love how he found a great (and even better) way to do it anyway!
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby joeframbach » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:53 am UTC

I am so glad I actually read that book. Also Sphereland.

Thank you, Randall. You make my life exciting.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Greckle » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:54 am UTC

Had to register to say this:

You went to PAX? And you were by the Miegakure booth?? And I didn't see you??? I must have played that game two hours total over the course of the weekend, so much fun and so much brain hurting. I was the guy in the foam/plush viking hat.

I'll go back to lurking now. Bye.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby BlueNight » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:57 am UTC

My high school comp sci teacher had a sequel pastiche on his desk for an entire semester. I read it ten minutes at a time before classes. Now I think it was bait to figure out which kids were logically intuitive, to push them a little harder.

BTW, here's some 2D porn: l l l l
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby rwald » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:00 am UTC

BlueNight wrote:BTW, here's some 2D porn: l l l l

I prefer my women taller: | | | |

Edit: Apparently this was my 111st post. I find that strangely appropriate.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby HighwoodFool » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:25 am UTC

GOOMHR - I was just thinking about the possibility of a 4-dimensional game. (Flatland does help by induction.)
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby aleflamedyud » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:26 am UTC

jacqueline wrote:Ok, this one is just mean! I want to play in four dimensions too! But the game is not yet released... sadness exists.

I am very disappoint.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby meat.paste » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:45 am UTC

If you liked flatland, I would recommend the book Flatterland. It explores some more geometry concepts including fractals, topology, and hyperbolic planes.

The comic was great.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Kaijyuu » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:09 am UTC

I want to play in four dimensions too!

Afaik, all "3D" games take time into account in some way, so really you've played a lot of 4D game already!
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Steve the Pocket » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:12 am UTC

Kaijyuu wrote:
I want to play in four dimensions too!

Afaik, all "3D" games take time into account in some way, so really you've played a lot of 4D game already!

And Braid especially takes it into account.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby knightry » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:14 am UTC

It's not the game mentioned here, but Braid is another indie game that attempts to explore the possibility of gaming in 4 dimensions. My guess is a lot of people here would enjoy it.

Link for those interested: http://www.braid-game.com/
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby cpp789 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:18 am UTC

Wouldn't Braid still be 3D (including 2 spatial dimensions and 1 time dimension)?
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby VectorZero » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:20 am UTC

Err...braid is a 2D platformer with control over time. It's not 4D by any stretch.

Ninja'd: dammit.

Still, awesome comic.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Saylone » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:49 am UTC

Want a 4D brain teaser?
What about the good old 4D maze ( http://www.urticator.net/maze/ )?
Also, hello all, been reading the strange comic for a while.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Devil N » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:50 am UTC

For more four-dimensional fun, try this 4D Rubik's Cube.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Synaesthesia242 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:52 am UTC

Here's something for y'all geeks I found a while ago when I was obsessed with 4D, a 4D rubik's cube!
http://www.superliminal.com/cube/cube.htm

BTW If you have read & enjoyed Flatland, you HAVE to check out Spaceland by Rudy Rucker - it's like a postmodern sequel to Flatland, I loved it! :D

edit: @Devil N I can't believe you just linked to the same thing at the same time! :D
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Synaesthesia242 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:56 am UTC

"In the spirit of taking things too far, here is a fully functional 5-dimensional analogue of Rubik's cube."

http://www.gravitation3d.com/magiccube5d/

:D

Guess I should solve the 3D one first ... 8)
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby breintje » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:56 am UTC

You could give Adanaxis a shot. It's found here. Too bad if you have windows or mac, then it's just a demo for you (unless you pay), for those on open source there is a full free version (though stripped of "commercial audio and video effects"). It's a fun space sort of shooter in which you have to aim in three axes (zenith, azimuth, and what you could call dw/dt), and thus can travel in four dimensions. It uses some colouring and target circles to indicate the target's place in W.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby TheoGB » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:42 am UTC

Technically no computer game could be truly 4D given the third dimension is always simulated.

However, you'd have to be an unlikely person to have never played a genuine 4D game: draughts, monopoly, cards, football, etc.
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby hcs » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:08 am UTC

Very cool, I too played Miegakure at PAX East, limited myself to a few levels since there were a lot of people interested. I'm looking forward to be able to buy it one day, I heard Marc give an estimate of "next year". I may have to write my own 4D platformer before then to satisfy myself...
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby Last_Polar_Bear » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:26 am UTC

I love how Miegakure is now the hottest search on Google! :D
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby HeartOfFocus » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:38 am UTC

Carl Sagan references and explains why the squares in flatland have such a hard time understanding 3d, and we humans understanding anything beyond three... and he does so in an awesome way, after all, he is Carl Sagan! I attached the youtubey goodness.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVXV8XB-GPo
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby yet another steven » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:45 am UTC

Dewdney's planiverse is a good follow-up to Flatland. His 2D world has gravity (so the directions are forward, backward, up and down), and he actually considers some 2D physics issues.

I don't think it's treated in the planiverse book, but in a 2D world, I suppose gravity would be inversely proportional to distance rather than distance squared (as the radius of a circle is proportional to its circumference, whereas the radius of a sphere is proportional to the square of its surface). Now I'm not a physicist, and I'm too lazy to make a simulation, but I think I've heard somewhere that you can't get stable orbits with gravity inversely proportional to distance. So you couldn't have a planet orbiting a sun... anyone got an idea what a 2D universe might look like?
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby reevey » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:53 am UTC

rwald wrote:Apparently this was my 111st post. I find that strangely appropriate.


Enter pedant: 111th, surely?

>\|/< Wow, what's going on there? Kinky...
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Re: "Flatland" Discussion

Postby hthall » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:29 am UTC

reevey wrote:
rwald wrote:Apparently this was my 111st post. I find that strangely appropriate.


Enter pedant: 111th, surely?


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