Customer Reviews: The 4th Dimension: Toward a Geometry of Higher Reality
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on February 3, 2006
If you're looking for the paperback version, look for ISBN 0395393884. It doesn't show up as the paperback version of this hardback, probably because the author's name for the paperback is listed as Rudolph Rucker instead of Rudy Rucker.

Hope this helps.
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on August 17, 2015
Rudy Rucker says that through all his years, he's managed to glimpse 14 minutes of the forth dimension. I believe him. This book isn't hard to understand and you don't need maths. What you do need, however, is a brain tuned in to this type of thinking. This is the type of book that needs to be given to a lonely child prodigy somewhere, languishing in the dunce class and getting bullied by the school teacher. A book like this can liberate the confused prodigy.

Rucker supplied quotes and passages from a who's who of genius', from Gauss to Kant to Godel, to... well, trust me, Rucker has read everyone!

The famous sceptic, Martin Gardner, has written a generous introduction. He isn't as dismissive as the next generation of sceptics will go on the be. Martin Gardner is very honest in saying that all this may well be true, but he's decided not to believe. This open mindedness seems to have vanished from the sceptics community.

As an aside, Peter Watson wrote a painfully long book titled, 'German Genius'. Well Rucker lists all the genius' and they are mostly Germans, and, interestingly, Russian's are a close second.

Another surprising nugget is the German philosopher, G.W. Hegel being Rudy Rucker's great great great grandfather.
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on January 7, 2009
I think this is, quite possibly, one of the best books I've read on the fourth dimension. For those saying "but the fourth dimension is time", all I have to say is, no, not in this case. We're discussing four spatial dimensions, which we can only really represent with mathematics in our three dimensional world. Naturally this is written by a mathematician and he did quite an exquisite job at explaining the nature of this utterly foreign dimension.

Now readers won't walk away being able to picture four dimensional beings or structures, but one will be able to grasp a fairly general understanding of what it would be like for a four dimensional being or object to exist and interact with our dimension. Naturally Rucker does this by explaining the relations between the dimensions by changing our perspective and having us think two dimensionally. For this he relies heavily on a book written by Edwin Abbott called "Flatland". I highly recommend you read "Flatland" before you attempt to tackle Rucker's book, as he constantly quotes "Flatland", almost to his books detriment. He also quotes other texts like "Spaceland" (which Rucker also wrote) or "Flatterland" here and there, but the one he relies upon most is "Flatland". "Flatland" is a natural and easy introduction to learning how to think from the perspective of a different dimension and helps the reader to fully grasp Rucker's analogy as he projects the relationship from the second and third dimensions to a relationship between the third and the fourth dimension. Naturally he points out that some of these points are mere conjecture as we cannot observe fourth dimensional objects in our reality... yet. "The 4th Dimension" is also illustrated with all kinds of silly cartoons to give the book a much lighter feel to its fairly heavy topic. The illustrations will certainly help anyone who really needs to see a drawing of some of the concepts Rucker talks about.

I was originally introduced to some of these concepts via Michio Kaku's book "Hyperspace". While he did a pretty good job explaining four spatial dimensions, I think this book really delves into it a lot deeper. The reader walks away with a much fuller understanding of the concepts concerning this different dimension. Not only will you learn about this, Rucker also goes through a very interesting history concerning humanity's fascination with things beyond our own dimension. He delves into metaphysics and explanations for ghosts as well as recounting the mathematical history (which is the real mainstay of this book). The spiritual aspects of this book are more anecdotal to help give the reader some historical or philosophical perspective in lieu of the mathematics.

If you're really curious about the possibility of other spatial dimensions then this book is a great read. The physics and universe research may be a little outdated by this point since the book originally came out in the 1980's, but it's application in helping a person think of how the fourth dimensional being would react is still applicable. While I'm pretty sure it's agreed that there are more than three spatial dimensions in existence, this book still treats that aspect as if there's still a major debate going on about it. After finding absolute proof of Black Holes in the universe, I think the multi-dimensional universe (or multiverse) concept is pretty realistic, since if the Black Hole singularity transcends our space and time... it has to go somewhere! Anyway, don't forget to read "Flatland" before you pick this up and I think people will find this a fun and informative read.
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on September 22, 2011
In 'The 4th Dimension', Rudy Rucker takes a concept that could potentially be made frightfully technical and - through the use of snippets of fiction, humorous drawings (I believe the illustrator also did drawings for many of James Thurber's works), and down-to-earth language - makes it accessible to anyone. I've handed my copy to people who absolutely hated math, and they have been able to come away with at least a basic understanding. As someone who adores math, I found the analogies entertaining without being 'dumbed down'.
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on May 4, 2003
I bought this book about ten years ago, and recently rediscovered it. It is full of nice (though very simplistic) illustrations and lots of references to other books and writers that touch the subject. Not very profound, but enough to tickle the mind and awaken interest for futher investigation into this realm. Rucker has obviously read a lot on this matter and he has made me want the same.
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on February 1, 2014
Nothing much to add. Just a great interesting read that's simple and concise. I will check out some of the writer's other books as well.
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on June 15, 2003
This book presents its material in a well-organized manner.
The author is a brilliant theoretical physicist and explains the concepts wonderfully.
I recommend this book for any and all who wish to understand the essence of time, reality, and the universe in general.
From a very personal level, the book affirms many of my own views pertaining to the cosmos and consciousness. There is indeed a Primary Mover (aka "God"), and he exists and operates in infinite (!) dimensions.
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on November 1, 2014
unusually clearly explained
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VINE VOICEon November 3, 2002
I found this book a difficult read. "Flatland" by A. Square (an illustrator) is a definite pre-requisite, and helpful, but even with that under my belt I had problems following Mr. Rucker.
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