The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional World

The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional World

by A.K. Dewdney


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A classic book about life in a two-dimensional universe, written by a well-known author. Now brought back into print in this revised and updated edition, the book is written within the great tradition of Abbott's Flatland, and Hinton's famous Sphereland. Accessible, imaginative, and clever, it will appeal to a wide array of readers, from serious mathematicians and computer scientists, to science fiction fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780387989167
Publisher: Springer New York
Publication date: 10/12/2000
Edition description: 2000
Pages: 247
Sales rank: 607,776
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.24(d)

Table of Contents

1 Arde.- 2 A House by the Sea.- 3 On Fiddib Har.- 4 Walking to Is Felblt.- 5 City Below Ground.- 6 The Trek.- 7 The Punizlan Institute.- 8 Traveling on the Wind.- 9 High on Dahl Radam.- 10 Drabk the Sharak of Okbra.- 11 Higher Dimensions.- Ardean Science and Technology.- Acknowledgments.

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The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional World 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Gord.Barker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a story that comes from the computer lab of Kee Dewdney's graduate computer course. In here, they are modeling a 2-D world with its own ecology, inhabitants and rules. Something goes awry though and the computer console hooks up with YNDRD, a 2-D character that can here us. Similar to Flatland (which looked down), Planiverse looks through the characters and we can see all their internal structures. They find this fascinating since they only perceive each other as a series of horizontal lines.The story follows YNDRD on his spiritual journey the culmination of which is his ascending into the third dimension and off the computer screen. A sad ending but a great story
shabacus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A lot of fun, and a better platform for the imagination than it is a story.In "The Planiverse," we have a frame story that wraps around a travelogue through a two-dimensional world. The 2D world itself is fascinating; the frame story in our world, less so. The faux real-world contact was enough to make teenage me wonder if it could be true, but as an adult, it's a lot easier to see through the deception, and even to resent its intrusion into an otherwise interesting study.It is clear that the author has put a lot of thought into how the science of a 2D world would work. Whereas Flatland explored the mathematical and social implications of such a world, the Planiverse gave us actual science, enough to make such a world feel claustrophobically plausible. However, the ending was nothing but pseudo-mystical oddness, designed to distract the reader from the lack of an ending, and totally at odds with the hard science nature of the earlier sections.Recommendation: Great food for thought, and worth reading if you are of a scientific bent and like thinking about different dimensions. Don't approach it if all you want is a story, however.
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dewdney, a computer science professor, has his students work to develop a world that has only two dimensions (akin to our three dimensional world). The students develop an elaborate world complete with its own ecosystem and rudimentary AI. However, something happens, and their virtual world is somehow replaced with a real world, through which the students and professor have computer contact.The world is still two dimensional, primitive in many ways, and advanced in others. The professor and students wish to learn more about the world without influencing their contact in a way that would violate something like Star Trek's Prime Directive.The book is like a travelogue, containing details of the world of their 2-D contact, who calls himself YNDRD, and is in turn called by the students Yendred. He takes them on a pilgrimage and they all learn about the strange 2-D world Yendred inhabits.This book is greatly inspired by Flatland with a little bit of Sufi mixed in. It should appeal to you if you're a fan of the former. I'm not sure if it is as appealing to fans of the latter, as I can only speak for myself, who is nearly obsessed with Flatland. Nevertheless, if you enjoy a good tale of 2-D worlds, then this will most likely fill that void (as long as the void has only a length and a height, with no width).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I guess you have to be a true nerd to read a book for fun like this without being asked too by a college math/physics teacher. But wonderfully, nothing within requires that you be a nerd to understand it :) The book is really interesting for those who ponder reality itself. Even spiritualists would find this book interesting if not enlightening. I read this at around age 18, and I have been trying to find it ever since, all the while being told that I was talking about 'FALTLAND' meanwhile I knew that wasn't right... Anyway I plan on reading the flatland books now sooner or later as well to see where this all started (so to speak). Without reading flatland, I am going to go out on a limb and guess that this book might be more 'accessable' to folks like me with big brains, but low GPA's. It has a cute little story in it, which can really make you think. I would reccomend this to any nerd, or wannabe nerd, it's really eye opening, and makes even the smart ones sit in quiet contemplation for a bit :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a culture of over used ideas and lack of originality I am so happy to see that this book is still in print. I found it by chance 15 years ago and bought it on a lark. I was instantly captivated with the idea a real 2 dimensional world I has haunted my mind ever since. The character, although lacking a third dimension, are fully formed in personality. I highly recommend this book.