When I was in grade school in the 1960s, we learned the basics about the dimensions. It must have been math class. For a string of years there, every math teacher I had used an overhead projector with water-soluble colored pens as a pedagogical aid. A one-dimensional thing was a line, such as the x axis on a graph. A two-dimensional thing had height and width, but no depth, such as a sinusoidal curve drawn on an x/y graph. A sheet of paper was, for all practical purposes, two-dimensional, even though you could add a z-axis to your graph to create a sense of depth. A three-dimensional space, such as a classroom, had height, width, and depth. The fourth dimension, which always seemed a little suspect to us, was time. The fifth dimension, of course, was a musical group. It was the Age of Aquarius.
Recently I have been experiencing and thinking about virtual worlds and how librarianship is evolving and might continue to evolve in light of these virtual worlds. There are scads of them out there: Second Life, Active Worlds, Lively, Whyville, and hundreds more. Some of these virtual worlds seem to be basically two-dimensional, like cloth figures on a felt board. Other virtual worlds seem to be essentially three-dimensional, similar to the real world. One day a new idea hit me: Dimensions may include fractions. There may be 2.3-dimension virtual worlds, or even 3.3-dimension virtual worlds. Let me explain. Read More »