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Flatland [Format Kindle]

Edwin A. Abbott
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

As a satire, Flatland offered pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions; in a foreword to one of the many publications of the novella, noted science writer Isaac Asimov described Flatland as "The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions." As such, the novella is still popular amongst mathematics, physics and computer science students.

The story is about a two-dimensional world referred to as Flatland. The unnamed narrator, a humble square (the social caste of gentlemen and professionals), guides us through some of the implications of life in two dimensions. The Square has a dream about a visit to a one-dimensional world (Lineland), and attempts to convince the realm's ignorant monarch of a second dimension, but finds that it is essentially impossible to make him see outside of his eternally straight line.

Book Description

'Upward, yet not Northward.'

How would a creature limited to two dimensions be able to grasp the possibility of a third? Edwin A. Abbott's droll and delightful 'romance of many dimensions' explores this conundrum in the experiences of his protagonist, A Square, whose linear world is invaded by an emissary Sphere bringing the gospel of the third dimension on the eve of the new millennium. Part geometry lesson, part social satire, this classic work of science fiction brilliantly succeeds in enlarging all
readers' imaginations beyond the limits of our 'respective dimensional prejudices'. In a world where class is determined by how many sides you possess, and women are straight lines, the prospects for enlightenment are boundless, and Abbott's hypotheses about a fourth and higher dimensions seem startlingly relevant today.

This new edition of Flatland illuminates the social and intellectual context that produced the work as well as the timeless questions that it raises about the limits of our perception and knowledge.

Détails sur le produit

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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Une fiction mathématique mais sans intrigue... 12 février 2013
Par ayersrock TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Ce roman devrait réjouir tout les admirateurs de science-fiction et de physique. Ecrit à la fin du XIXè siècle, il raconte l'histoire d'un carré qui évolue dans un espace à deux dimensions et qui va être amené après avoir eu des visions, à reconsidérer l'espace à deux dimensions dans lequel il est piégé. Tous les protagonistes de ce roman sont des figures géométriques, ce qui en fait un livre complètement original et atypique. De plus pour tous ceux qui ont du mal avec la physique, la lecture de Flatland pourrait les aider à comprendre la différence entre un monde à 0, 1, 2 ou 3 dimensions. La possibilité d'une 4ème dimension est même évoquée.
Il est dommage que le roman soit presque totalement dépourvu d'intrigue mis à part les voyages de ce carré dans les autres dimensions. En effet, la majeure partie du livre est consacrée à décrire la hiérarchie de la société ou le moyen de reconnaissance des autres figures géométriques dans Flatland. De plus le livre est très court (moins de 100 pages).
Ce roman serait aussi une critique déguisée de la société Victorienne du XIXè siècle.
Donc 4 étoiles pour l'originalité du livre sur un sujet qui aurait pu être totalement ennuyeux mais avec Abbot on ne s'ennuie pas une seconde, on regrette même que le livre ait été si court.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  407 commentaires
85 internautes sur 90 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Mind bender anyone? 31 mai 2001
Par "tastes_like_chicken" - Publié sur
Although it isn't very long, Flatland does take a long time to read. This isn't because it is boring, or because it is hard to read, but because of the large amount of digestion one need's to fully comprehend (and to fully enjoy) this book. Even this book contains only 82 pages, it is by no means light reading. The book was originally released in 1884 under Abbott's pseudonym A Square. In the story we follow the journey of a square who lives in a land of two dimensions--a flat land. In it class, and ultimately intelligence, is determined by the amount of sides that a shape has. As the amount of sides a shape has decreases, we find that it also is more emotional and apt to cause destruction through their pointed corners. Women are depicted as straight lines, but one has to take into account the time that this book was published. One can also disregard the story as having any relations to anything in our society and enjoy it for what it is, a mind bending social criticism. In this tale we follow the aforementioned square through his everyday life. we learn what it is like to exist in only two dimensions. We learn of how rain falls form the north and disappears to the south and how gravity is a minute force that pulls to the south ever so slightly. We follow him through the government and through social classes, and the discrimination that comes with them. When his son talks of geometric impossibilities such as 23 (cubed) he has a dream of a lesser land than his, a land called line land. IN it there is not two but only one dimension of being. Through discussion with the kind of lineland, we are offered insight into why our hero the square cannot conceive of the third dimension. Later our hero is visited by a great being, a sphere that appears to him seemingly out of nowhere. This confuses the square very much, and even more when the sphere tries to explain how he passed into his dimension from the third. After heated debate, the sphere takes him and shows him the third dimension, turning our hero into an evolved form of him self, a cube. Form his higher vantage point the square is able to see the innards of those who reside in flatland. He receives tutoring from the sphere about this new dimension and all that it entails. He learns of how limited the field of vision is for those living in flatland, both literally and figuratively. With his previous limits of reality stripped and with his eye opened to the truth, the square quickly follows logic and asks to see the insides of the sphere, and wishes to ascend further into greater dimensions, fourth dimensions and fifth and onward and upward. The sphere is appalled by this heresy and send our hero back to the limited realm of flatland. Here he tries to convince others to be enlightened, but cannot find success. He has a second dream involving the dimension of pointland, no dimensions. The being inhabiting this land is of nothing and knows nothing but itself, which is nothing. There fore this being cannot be disappointed by anything, because it cannot conceive of anything other than itself. We can see the religious parallels to Hinduism and Buddhism here. The completely content creature is of nothingness, much like the state that Buddhists try to achieve, and the outward ranking by dimension not sides can be seen in Hinduism in the spiral path towards God that the Hindu believe they travel along passing from one point on the spiral to another with each passing life. In this land of math all of the lands are contained within each other, much like the rings of the spiral. Finally after this dream the square realizes the futility of trying to convince others through speech, and he feels he must do it through demonstration. Folks hear of his heresy and bring him to the court for the climax of the book. Whether or not the plot of the novel itself is very entertaining, the ability to get your head around concepts that can only be experienced through the mind is challenged thoroughly by this novel. It is a must read for anyone who thinks that they are well educated, as it will quickly tell you just where you stand, theologically, philosophically and mathematically.
54 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Unimaginable Dimensions 7 juillet 2006
Par Jon Linden - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Flatland is a unique and brilliant treatise on a trifurcated level. It is a sociological statement, a mathematical statement and a religious statement all rolled into an incredibly astute 82 pages. The book centers mostly on the differences between a two dimensional world and a three dimensional world; but comments on society, law, prejudice, religion, and proselytizing.

The book especially points out the difficulty in envisioning a greater reality and a greater vision than is commonly observed by any individual in any dimension or society. The author's premise relates to things existing in a "plane geometry" world as opposed to a "Euclidian Geometric" three dimensional figure universe. The book carefully illustrates to one denizen of Flatland how the three dimensional world of space works and/or exists. Upon finally understanding the "Gospel of Three Dimensions" our protagonist goes on to try and apply the same arithmetic logic and geometric analogs to a fourth dimensional universe. Shouldn't there exist a fourth dimensional universe that allows an entity to look down upon the three dimensional universe with as much transparency as one can from three dimensions to two?

Alas, things become different in dimensions other than the first, a world of lines, the second, a world of shapes and the third, a world of objects. In the zero dimension, all things are a point. Mathematically we know that any number raised to the "0" power equals 1 and therefore, all things in the zero dimension resolve into one single omnipotent point. This condition would also exist in the fourth dimension; as those of us in the third dimension have no model to compare it to. Envisioning a fourth dimension, even with time as the fourth dimension is truly difficult or impossible for us in the third dimension.

Interspersed with this witty and intellectual dialogue are comments on society and its structure. He specifically comments multiple times of the degradation of women in society to the lowest social status. Only men are educated in Flatland. Interestingly, he paints a picture of an authoritarian society in which people are judged by their shapes and angles. This reflecting the Victorian societal values around him at the time of his writing.

Flatland is recommended to all those who seek to enlighten their view of the universe and of potential universes. It is especially recommended to those seeking higher knowledge of any type. Flatland is truly a multi-dimensional experience and worth every minute.
42 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Horrible Edition 3 septembre 2010
Par M. Gajdosik - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This edition is essentially unreadable and not representative of traditional printings. It's printed directly from the digitized (and free) copy from Google Books and has clearly had NO editing work done. The book is filled with references to figures that were not included, mangled words, and seemingly random breaks and markings in some spots. This would be fine for a free digitized text online, but is entirely unacceptable for a paid-for product, especially a short book that would be similarly priced in a physical store.
41 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The book that started it all for higher dimensional analysis 13 décembre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Flatland is THE must-read for anyone interested in getting a feel for higher dimensions. The book is extraordinarily readable and succeeds even with people that are afraid of mathematics. Abbott's charm lies in his ability to write simply and clearly about a topic that has its share of very unreachable, esoteric books. You fall into the story (whose plot is by no means secondary to the mathematical ideas), and before you know it you find yourself in contemplation of things like the fourth and fifth dimensions. The visual image that this book provides is a necessary step to envisioning and then understanding the idea of higher dimensions, even for those already versed in the mathematics of it. You never know, after you read this, you might even be willing to try your hand at things like Einstein's relativity. A little on the social aspects of the book: keep in mind that it was written in the very late 1800's. Hidden within the philosophical and mathematical ideas is a satire of the social climate of the times: how women, the military, the upper echelons of society, and just about everyone else were viewed. Flatland makes you think, and think deeply, on many different and sometimes unexpected levels.
23 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Math at its Best 19 mai 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur
From the square character's world of two dimensions in Flatland to the Sphere's three dimensional Spaceland, one comes to recognize the role of dimensions in geometry and in thinking in Abbott's Flatland. Both a mathematical essay and a satire the book challenges readers to discover dimensions for themselves in an unusual story. Beyond the story of the square lawyer protagonist and his adventure with the Sphere is the satire on Abbott's English society. Women are depicted as lines with the power to destroy men with there sharp, pointed ends. They are forced to remain in a constant waving motion as a courtesy to men in order to remain visible. An interesting predicament surfaces when coloring becomes a popular practice in identification. Women from certain viewpoints appear the same color as priests, much to the priests' chagrin. In sum, the women appear to have an inferior role to the multi-sided men as women faced inequality in late 19th century society. Secondly, the shapes themselves present a hierarchy of society. From the irregular figures to the noble Circles, each shape has its own ranking and occupations. Moreover, each shape is subdivided into figures that have a higher status in the Flatland world. For example, the equilateral triangle is seen as superior to any of the other isosceles triangle with top angles of less than sixty. These shapes have little hope of progressing; hope lies in their offspring which may possess a more respected number of equal sides. This can be seen as an analogy to the lower classes struggle to achieve success in the society dominated by the wealthy or aristocratic. While the story of Flatland may be a mockery of Victorian England, its heart is its mathematical meaning. It serves as an interesting and understandable window into the subject of dimensions. From Lineland, which knows no left or right directions, to the abstract Fourth Dimension, where it is possible to look inside a solid object, readers are introduced to new ways of thinking not usually encountered in math class. Most importantly, the text of the book is not beyond the scope of someone with a casual interest in the topic. Anyone can appreciate the search for the meanings of dimension and truth in easy to comprehend analogies presented by the author. Another math topic addressed is the discovery of new ideas themselves. Abbott shows that math is a field where anyone with an interest has a chance to succeed just as the main character stumbles upon the meaning of dimensions from thoughts from his grandson. He pursues his hypothesis on the dimensions of Spaceland as well as develops the ideas for the Fourth Dimension on his own. Although he is imprisoned for his thoughts and attempts to teach others, the square keeps his theories, not letting the views of society interfere with his work. It is interesting that he faces this fate when trying to educate the public about the truth of their world and beyond. On the whole, Flatland is more than just a short book with intriguing mathematical ideas. It is an opening experience to the search from the truth behind the world through the subject of dimensions. While mocking the English , the book also introduces readers an odd world of shapes and figures. Lastly, math is encouraged even though it may go against the grain of society. Any book that introduces readers to a new way of thinking is worth reading.
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