And he put it to us in this way--marking the points with a lean forefinger--as we sat and lazily admired his earnestness over this new paradox (as we thought it) and his fecundity. I shall have to controvert one or two ideas that are almost universally accepted. But through a natural infirmity of the flesh, which I will explain to you in a moment, we incline to overlook this fact.The geometry, for instance, they taught you at school is founded on a misconception." "Is not that rather a large thing to expect us to begin upon? There are really four dimensions, three which we call the three planes of Space, and a fourth, Time.
For instance, if I am recalling an incident very vividly I go back to the instant of its occurrence: I become absent-minded, as you say. Of course we have no means of staying back for any length of Time, any more than a savage or an animal has of staying six feet above the ground. Long ago I had a vague inkling of a machine--" "To travel through Time! "That shall travel indifferently in any direction of Space and Time, as the driver determines." Filby contented himself with laughter.
* * * Project Gutenberg of Australia e Books are created from printed editions which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice is included.
We do NOT keep any e Books in compliance with a particular paper edition. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this file.
But some foolish people have got hold of the wrong side of that idea. That Space, as our mathematicians have it, is spoken of as having three dimensions, which one may call Length, Breadth, and Thickness, and is always definable by reference to three planes, each at right angles to the others.
You have all heard what they have to say about this Fourth Dimension? But some philosophical people have been asking why three dimensions particularly--why not another direction at right angles to the other three--?