Message #3257

From: Vasily Vladimirovich Vylkov <>
Subject: Re: [MC4D] Re: Visualizing Hyperobjects
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2015 07:16:19 -0800

If we want to imagine how a 4D being might "see" shapes intuitively, it
might be more analogous to the awareness we have of our entire 3D body,
where we can "feel" a 3D volume all at once. Their visual system would be
converting some 3D grid of sensations into a mental model of what they are

We see the 3D world by projecting it onto a 2D array of nerve endings, the
retina. By analogy, a 4D being might see the 4D world by projecting onto a
3D volume of nerve endings – some sort of 3D retina. So I was thinking,
what do we have that might be analogous to this 3D bundle of nerve endings?

One possible answer is: our entire bodies. Of course, we are not a giant
retina, but just imagine for a moment that all the nerve endings in your
body which are constantly sending you messages about how your arms and legs
are feeling, what your stomach is doing, etc., imagine they are all
actually sensing colour (instead of temperature, pain, or whatever they
sense normally).

Melinda’s example of a blind person feeling a model car is very close – if
a hologram of this model car was superimposed/projected inside your belly
for example, and all the nerve endings in your belly could "feel" / see the
hologram, then you would be instantly aware of the entire volume of the
model car, the inside, the outside, all the parts in the engine, etc.

If the model car was very far away in 4D, it would be projected very small
inside your body in 3D, and difficult to sense the details. If the model
car was very close in 4D, it would be projected large in 3D, some of it
might escape your field of view. It’s not exactly correct to say you would
see it "from every angle" – there is still a viewing angle, it’s just an
angle from some 4D direction. It’s more like us looking at a 2D drawing of
a car, we’d see the insides of the car, but not "from every angle" just
from "above" in some 3D orientation.

Anyway, maybe this will provoke some thought experiments along these lines.
: )