[next] [prev] [up] Date: Mon, 03 Jan 83 09:15:00 -0700 (PST)
[next] [prev] [up] From: Stan Isaacs <ISAACS@SRI-KL >
~~~ ~~~ [up] Subject: Hinton's Cubes

Hinton's Cubes are mentioned in Martin Gardners "Mathematical Carnival",
Chapter 4, Hypercubes, a reprint of the November, 1966, Mathematical Games
column from Scientific American. He doesn't say much, mainly that "Hinton...
devised a system of using colored blocks for making three-space models of
sections of a tesseract." Hinton believed that they would help develop
an intuitive grasp of 4-space. The fullest account of them mentioned is
the book k"A New Era of Thought", by C. Howard Hinton, Swan Sonnenschein,
1888, apparantly reprinted in 1910.
Gardner also prints a letter he received from Hiram Barton, of England,
including "A shudder ran down my spine when I read your reference to Hinton's
cubes. I nearly got hooked on them myself in the nineeen-twenties. Please
believe me when I say that they are completely mind-destroying. The only
person I ever met who had worked with them seriously was Francis Sedlak, a
Czech neo-Hegelian philosopher...who lived in an Oneida-like community near
Stroud, in Gloucestershire.
"As you must know, the technique consists essentially in the sequential
visualizing of the adjoint internal faces of the poly-colored unit cubes
making up the large cube. It is not difficult to acquire considerable
facility in this, but the process is one of autohypnosis and, after a while,
the sequences begin to parade themselves through one's mind of their own
It goes on, but doesn't say a great deal more. I don't have my copy of
Hintons book "The Fourth Dimension", but maybe it will give some more
If anybody does find some marketed versions of the cubes, put it on the list.
--- Stan

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