The Sixth Dimension
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The Study of Six Dimensions

We all know about three-dimensional space -- the "x, y and z" axes to the mathematician or "right, straight ahead and up" to the rest of us. A particular point in space will always be that same particular point in space, as defined by your reference system (in classical mechanics). "Always" -- a curious word meaning "very long time".  Time is yet another dimension -- marching along at a constant beat and independent of space (in a classical reference system).

Space and Time provide us with a four dimensional view of the physical world. These four dimensions are a "where" and "when" framework for studying and understanding the planet and environment -- "whose" environment we should quickly ask.

Of course the fifth dimension in our system is "objects", either animate or inanimate.

Without rocks, we would never have come to understand "how" our planet took shape over the millenia -- "what" events that actually happened to modify the planet at various stages. As useful as rocks have been, rocks and other inanimate objects can all be defined in terms of geometry (or shape -- those 3 axes again) and matter. The inanimate object is linked to space and time by taking its' "state" into account -- that is, where it was in a reference system at time t3, coupled with an assessment of the activities of the materials of which it is composed (eg temperature, a consideration of energy). That is the inanimate object. (Please note that both matter and energy are addressed in our notion of "object".)

As for the animate object, there is more to your dog than just shape, matter and state. Your dog has additional properties such as emotion. Your dog has a brain and can even think to some extent. But let's leave most animals aside for the time being -- save one, the human being.

The human being has such an advanced brain and such exceptional capacity for processing information that humans can pretty safely be distinguished from virtually all other animals. It is our unique property of advanced rational thought that makes us different. It is this rational thought of individual beings that links us to the sixth and most fascinating dimension -- societal values.

Subsets of people make up a community or society. Such a group can develop a common value system, a curious blend that can include some of the "best" and "worst" attributes of individuals. One important property of this value system is the "law" that is defined to regulate it.  The value system of a group of people evolves -- over time.

History is the study of the evolution of values -- from local or regional or international points of view. Of all of the subjects you study in school, only history embraces all six dimensions (linked in these and other ways):

  • Three Dimensional Space  (Eg Proximity of people and groups of people to one another, resulting in interaction) (Consider also the physical shape of a tool used by a blacksmith)
  • 4 -- Time  (Eg The birth, death and marriage dates that connect people to one another)
  • 5 -- Objects (Eg People and their tools, homes and beasts of burden)
  • 6 -- Societal Values (Prevalent attitudes in a community that evolve in response to a complex web of human interactions)

Let's propose a framework for the study of our Six Dimensions. As noted, the six dimensions are related or linked to one another. In particular, "people" seem to be at the root of these relationships between the dimensions. A model that recognizes these relationships would certainly be worth considering. But we should not just consider the input data in our model -- why would we do any of this input data collection if we did not intend to interpret and analyze it and then output it into some other more useful or published format? So our model must include both the input source capture and the outputs. How we get from input to output is crucial -- so we need to include Lesson Plans and Exercises. 

A breakdown of the important entities and subsets of those entities (not to mention the many relationships) might basically go something like this...

Plan of Attack


  • ID
  • Name
  • Body
  • Senior Abstract/Learning Outcome
  • Junior Abstract/Learning Outcome
  • Paraphrased version (if in old style jargon)
  • YearOnTimeline
  • Publication ID


  • Half-CenturyPeriod ID (eg 1750-1800)
  • ContextSummary


  • Humanity classification (Sociology; Economics; Technology; Political; Military etc)
  • Topic


  • Name
  • ContextSummary


  • Country
  • Region
  • Community
  • MapLocation (latitude/longitude)
  • ContextSummary


  • Surname
  • Forename
  • MiddleName
  • Birthplace
  • Birthdate yyyy/mm/dd or ca_yyyy
  • Deathplace
  • Deathdate yyyy/mm/dd or ca_yyyy
  • Father
  • Mother
  • Spouse
  • PrimaryOccupation
  • ContextBioSummary


Input Source Identification


  • Title
  • Serial Number
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • Date


Cognitive / Processing


  • ID
  • Type (Individual; Group)
  • Body


  • ID
  • Age (Junior, Senior)
  • ContextSummary (covers concepts taught, period, region etc.)


Outputs -- "Better" Audience-Centric Information

Output Publication

  • Title
  • Date
  • Publisher
  • Author
  • Sequence of applicable articles (Ordered)

The Scarboro Heights Record V12 #9