Category talk:Dimensions

From Ultronomicon
Revision as of 07:44, 22 January 2005 by (talk)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This use of the word "dimension" does not make sense.What you reallly mean is a plane in various dimensions. But what to call this category then? Something like "Spaces" would be accurate, but could be confusing. "Spatial hyperplanes" could work, but that term doesn't really have any connection to the game. Any other ideas? -- SvdB 18:01, 16 Jan 2005 (CET)

WTF is a "spatial hyperplane"? A "hyperplane" is a space, nothing more, nothing less. "Spatial hyperplane" is just treknobabble-style nonsense.

A spatial hyperplane only crosses spatial dimensions (as opposed to temporal dimensions). - SvdB 13:03, 21 Jan 2005 (CET)
Well, that's partly inaccurate, then, because clearly time exists in each of these spaces or else you wouldn't be able to go to them and spend time in them. I did a little research, and in vector math they use "hyperplane" to mean a smaller set of dimensions excised from a larger set of dimensions. A "spatial hyperplane", in other words, would be a two-dimensional plane in real space. I'm not sure what you're using it to mean here. You're probably going off of the New Age mystic definition of "plane", which is clearly only ever used as a metaphor -- the fact that we can easily imagine multiple planes coexisting in a space makes it easier to understand multiple spaces existing in a hyperspace.

The *best* term is "dimension". Bukowski and the Arilou both specifically say that although it's an inaccurate term it's the best English term available to them.

They don't say that. - SvdB 13:03, 21 Jan 2005 (CET)
He then goes on to use the word "dimension" over and over again, as well as the term "dimensional fatigue."
The Arilou: "Some of your more broad thinkers refer to such realms as other dimensions.

Though trivialized, this is a suitable metaphor for your intellect."

Again, use of the term "interdimensional fatigue" and constantly referring to QuasiSpace and TrueSpace as "dimensions".
Given that these places *don't really exist* and were made up by the creators of the game, I think it's pretty arrogant to say that because, to you, the terms "don't make sense" you feel free to edit TFB's own preferred usage to something you like better.

Most people now accept that "dimension" has the secondary meaning of "extradimensional space" -- how often have you heard "aliens from another dimension"? Just think of "dimension" as short for "extra set of dimensions" rather than "single dimension" and you'll be fine.

No, refering to "dimension" instead of "set of dimensions" is not what I'm complaining about. The word "dimension" has a whole different meaning. A dimension is a "direction" of the universe, a degree of freedom. Look at it as a high building. Within a floor you could define coordinates on the "longitude" and "lattitude" dimensions. TrueSpace is one of those floor. When you say an alien "is from another dimension" you could say in this case that the alien came "from the height dimension". But if you want to talk about the actual space they occupy, you refer to "floor" (the plane). Note that in general, the planes in the building (the total of space) don't have to be parallel. They may even cross eachother in places. When people say "another dimension", the "other" refers not to the fact that their own space isn't in that dimension (it is), but that it's in a dimension you can't normally travel in. - SvdB 13:03, 21 Jan 2005 (CET)
No. It's not that simple. There's no rule that other spaces have to exist like planes stacked on top of each other this way. Indeed, if you imagine the world consisting of a giant hyperspace, any three-dimensional cross-section of it can be experienced as an ordinary space, *regardless* of whether those dimensions "line up" or not with our own. A lot of sf stories talk about entering an alternate universe by "rotating" so that our time dimension becomes the z-axis and our z-axis becomes the time dimension; just doing that could put you in an entirely different space that people in our universe would be entirely unable to perceive, even though all the dimensions are the same as ours, just relabeled.
In any case this is an entirely tangential discussion. Regardless of how *you* define one dimension as different from another, if I *perceive* myself in an entirely different space from the one I was in before, it's perfectly meaningful to say that the set of dimensions I'm in now is different from the one I was before.

It's exactly analogous with HyperSpace -- technically HyperSpace, QuasiSpace and TrueSpace all exist within *one* hyperspace (or hyper-hyperspace, or whatever) and themselves are just spaces, but we name the space we get to by traveling hyperspatially HyperSpace, and we name the things separated by extra dimensions just dimensions.

Only people who don't know any better do that. Granted, most people don't know any better, and to portray them accurately in fiction, you would have them say things like "dimensions" when talking about (hyper)planes. But we are writing a reference work, which should portray the way things *are*, and we should describe them accurately. - SvdB 13:03, 21 Jan 2005 (CET)
Is this from Planescape? Let me say it again -- the *real* meaning of plane is a set of two dimensions. It's by no means a more correct scientific term. Using "plane" to mean any arbitrary set of dimensions is as much of a metaphorical stretch of the original meaning of the term as using "dimension" to mean the same thing.
In any case, two of the people in the *Star Control* universe who know the most about dimensions use the term "dimension". This is an encyclopedia about the Star Control universe. Are you going to insist that we also change the name of HyperSpace because it's inaccurate?

There's no reason to go editing the game's usage to make ourselves look smarter. TFB primarily used "dimension" and only occasionally used "planes" (a *more* inaccurate term) and never used "spaces" outside of a suffix. We're here to report, not extrapolate, remember? So use "dimension".

We being here to report accurately is exactly my point. You report things as they are, not necessarilly using the same words as the game characters do. TrueSpace, HyperSpace, and QuasiSpace are described as hyperplanes (also known as "space" when they exist in 3 dimensions), even though the exact word isn't used, not as things like "height", "width", "depth" etc (dimensions). This isn't a matter of making ourselves look smarter; it's about perfectionism. Also, I'd like to hear why you think "planes" (or "hyperplanes" rather) is inaccurate. - SvdB 13:03, 21 Jan 2005 (CET)
Okay, look: Language is not some thing dispensed from on high. If we *did* gain the ability to travel through HyperSpace, we probably would develop the *already existent* secondary meaning of "dimension" as a "separate set of dimensions one can travel through" into common slang. Just because it's not the *primary* definition now doesn't make it an illegitimate definition. Are you also like one of those annoying grade school English teachers who says you can't ask "Can I go to the bathroom?" or say "Hopefully it won't rain tomorrow"? There *is* no simple scientific term for something like HyperSpace because something like HyperSpace doesn't, really, exist. "Dimension" is as good a term as any, and I've even laid out a *logical* way you can develop a secondary meaning of "dimension" from its currently primary meaning so that it doesn't seem like a purely haphazard coinage of slang. You name things after where you go to get to them. "HyperSpace" is called that because its existence proves TrueSpace and HyperSpace together exist *in* a hyperspace, not because it, itself, is a hyperspace (it isn't, not if it's possible to navigate in it using an ordinary spaceship and visually see paths through it). It's no more illegitimate than naming the Far East or the Midwest after a direction.
Secondly, even if you think this coinage is bastardized it's obviously *happened* in the SC2 universe. The Androsynth scientists, Bukowski, the Arilou La'leelay, and others don't use "dimension" because they're ignorant, but because it's the easiest term available to them. Clearly in the imaginary future "dimension" has become standard. Language is allowed to shift in an imaginary, sf-nal future even if you don't want it to shift in the real world now. Using a different term than dimension would be being untrue to the *actual usage* of language in SC2, just as changing "Androsynth" to something more authentically Greek would be, or "Unzervalt" to something authentically German.
The only people in SC2 who ever use the term "plane" are the Pkunk, obviously in reference to silly New Age mysticism. Their "planes", moreover, never refer to HyperSpace or QuasiSpace. Those are always, if they're called anything, called "dimensions" (unless you want to make a case for "reality" or "realm" based on a few references). "Spaces" only comes from the suffix on their names and is never used separately, because "spaces" can commonly refer to specific parcels of volume inside a single universe, which the game *does* use -- "Human space", "VUX space", etc.
Finally, "hyperplane" just plain doesn't exist at all in the sense you mean it. It's a math term, not a physics term. It's not in SC2, and it doesn't exist in real life, and I don't even think it comes from D&D, and I can't figure out for the life of me where you dug it up. I suppose you could make the point that, geometrically, each of the spaces we're talking about is a hyperplane of a larger-dimensional space, but it seems to me to be a stilted construction.

To clarify another thing: I'm not in favour of using "Spatial Hyperplanes" as the name of the category. While it would be accurate, it would also be confusing to the user. I'm just looking for a replacement for "dimensions", which is just plain incorrect. "Spaces" so far has my preference, but I was hoping someone finds a word where the meaning out of context is immediately clear. I'm perfectly ok by making "dimensions" a redirect to whatever we decide though. After all, "dimension" *is* what most people who are only known with the word through "soft" sci-fi would refer to it, unfortunately. - SvdB 13:17, 21 Jan 2005 (CET)

"Dimension" makes perfect sense. Hard sf would use it as a slang term, because a truly descriptive term used by physicists would probably be long and unfamiliar. There's no point in being snobbish about "correct" terminology, because until we actually create the kind of technology we actually see in SC2, we won't *have* real, commonly used terms for things like HyperSpace, and we might as well use the ones the game gives us.

I usually side with Svdb on issues such as this, but I think Mr. Anonymous here has a point. There is no need for us to find a new term for what so many game characters call a "dimension". Naming the category with another term that is more scientifically correct would only confuse readers, who have heard them referred to as "dimensions" within the game.

Why don't we make a compromise? For the sake of usability, we keep the category name (or decide on another term that is also used in-game, but "dimension" is the only one I can think of) and place information in the category description about the more accurate scientific name. Also,, please make an account. It makes conversations easier. -Fadookie 06:04, 22 Jan 2005 (CET)

Yeah, I probably should create an account. Just a quick note before I go to bed, though:
THERE IS NO SCIENTIFICALLY ACCURATE TERM FOR A SC2 DIMENSION. THEY DON'T REALLY EXIST. The best you can come up with is using terms from physics to come up with what you *might* call such a thing if it *did* exist based on ways we talk about dimensions and alternate universes and such right now. But such talk is wildly theoretical and speculative, and even then has very little to do with the popular conception of popping into and out of other universes using magical technology that we see so often in sf. *Every* term for such things -- "hyperspace", "dimensions", "planes of existence" -- is essentially fictional. What I take issue with is Svdb thinking that some term he's come in contact with before -- "hyperplane"? -- is "scientifically accurate" and "realistic", which is patent nonsense when you're talking about one of the most fantastic and unreal tropes of science fiction. You can make a better case for established, mainstream terms for things like UFOs or psychic powers -- which at least a lot of people *believe* are real -- than for hyperspace.