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Dimensions in history

July 10, 2006

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Have been thinking lately about the idea of dimensions in history. Not in the sense of textbook titles, but in the sense of up, down, etc. Of course time, often cited as the fourth dimension of physics (correctly I believe), is of primary importance to history. Is it a single dimension in history? Probably, though geologic time seems very different from solar time, which is different from evolutionary time.  There is in physics some discussion of math that requires multiple dimensions, but they don’t seem to have much imagination in counting them. They seem to imply they must be physical dimensions that are twisted in some way and I don’t know why. If time is a dimension, why not other similar types of things: gravity?, particles?, waves?, life? We know there are multiple historical forces: groups, individuals, politics, etc. All these interact and create (bend?) time and space. Interesting things to ponder. Don’t need to be too tied to the “reality” of the physics example, but it helps frame the discussion.

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