Multi-Dimensional Species

Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

Harrigan spoke up. “I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this, carto. How does a species develop the ability to communicate three-dimensionally?”

I nodded. “That, sir, is exactly the crux of the issue.” I pulled up the next slide, a chart of the major known races in the galaxy. "Humans — and every other race we know of — are three-dimensional beings, occupying height, width, and depth. Some would argue we are also at least four-dimensional, occupying as we do the linear dimension of time, but that is more a theoretical concept than a physical — and it is the physical with which I am concerned here.

“As such, we occupy three dimensions and communicate in one.” Next slide. “What we have now encountered is a species that communicates in three dimensions yet occupies rather more dimensions that than.”

I looked at Harrigan. “I don’t wonder that you have a hard time grasping the notion. I’ve struggled with it myself, despite my special abilities as a cartographer.”

A breath, and then I continued.

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  1. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Begin the story here:

    I hope you guys don’t mind that I wrote the next three segments back-to-back. It didn’t seem like you were going to contribute anytime soon, and I was eager to continue. :)

  2. Avatar HSAR

    I have no issues… but for nitpicking’s sake, we communicate in two dimensions, actually. One-dimensional communications would be along a single line as opposed to our two-dimensional writing.

  3. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Elaborate further, if you please. I’m not quite following your train of thought.

  4. Avatar HSAR

    If you think about the volume of a cube, it has three dimensions; height, width and depth. Height and width are both characteristics of our writing styles, with depth being the third unused dimension.

    Hence, a one-dimensional language would resemble morse code or binary since it can only exist upon one line (width or height, but not both).

  5. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    I’m not sure I agree with you on this one. If you’re referring to written communication as it appears on the printed page, then your argument is valid. I’m using communication in this series in its abstract form, in which it only uses one-dimension where each word follows the next in a linear fashion. In that sense it is one-dimensional.

    Who knew this series would promote such thought-provoking discussion! :)

  6. Avatar HSAR

    Hm, now that’s an interesting way to think about it. Hadn’t considered that at all before.

  7. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Yup, that’s the approach I took for the sake of this story. :)

Inspired by

This is how I began: “Of the various species the human race has encountered throughout the galaxy, all have viewed language as a single...

Multi-Dimensional Language by Jim Stitzel