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ISFDB.org Magazine Entry




STORIES of a fourth dimension are always of great interest to us. Mathematicians can prove today that there is such a thing as a fourth dimension. The trouble with most fourth dimension stories, however, is that it is difficult to follow them and that the author as a rule, presupposes that the reader is well-versed in the higher dimensions, which, as a rule, he is not.

The author of the present story has given us some excellent examples and illustrations, which makes it comparatively easy for us to follow his reasoning, and we believe, incidentally, that he has helped a great deal to make the fourth dimension better understood by the average layman. And while, for practical purposes, it may be many centuries before we can actually demonstrate the fourth dimension, yet whatever is done to enlarge our fund of knowledge along this direction should be welcomed by everyone interested in science.


"IT'S curious, Charlie, but did you ever wonder why we never trace to a final conclusion the little incidents of our daily lives? You know if we did we might be able, with foresight and inductive logic, to trace the developments to their ultimate effect. When you look back at any incident you can see obviously an inevitable chain of circumstances. You must wonder sometimes why the human brain refuses to project the outcome when the original events occur."

Many a monologue along this line have I heard from my friend, Tom Lee. Lee's ideas were always interesting; often they were startling. Yet his theory coincided with Poe's in that he believed that to an intelligence to whom was open all the complexity of the algebraic processes, the ultimate resolution of any problem was possible; was possible, that is to say, given the time necessary for the required computation.

And lacking the time for the necessary computation of the outcome of a trivial event, Tom was taken away from me, from his work, and in fact from the pleasant world in which we had been companions for so many years.

Looking back, I realize that I should have foreseen the eventful catastrophe. It is now so clear that no other result could have been expected from the attempted manipulation of titanic forces.

The initial incident, and the remark thereby occasioned, which opened the tragic train of events, took place when Lee and I were motoring over the Mohawk Trail in New England. We were, at the time, running up one of the lesser hills soon after leaving the town of Charlemont. Traveling at a good rate of speed we rounded a turn to find ourselves right behind a monster truck, loaded with crushed rock. The truck had stopped to cool its motor, and, as is often the case with trucks, had chosen a position which made passing impossible.

"Tom," I said, after we had induced the driver out of the way, "It's a good thing we were going up hill or I could not have stopped without a smash."

"Now that's what I call a real interestin' remark, Charlie," Lee replied. "It opens up deucedly interesting lines of thought that have previously escaped me."

Lee is one of these slow spoken Yankees, a real New Englander, with a trick of slipping in an English slang word, or expression, when conversing. He is none of your quick spoken, incisive scientists, although his mind is lightning fast. (Odd how I still say "He is," for Thomas Lee is gone, and many a fellowship of scientists and delvers into the unknown mourns with me the loss of a man far ahead of his time in many ways, and a true friend.)

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