Backwards into the future

This morning’s Observer column.

It’s not often that a newspaper column can resolve a dispute that has troubled the finest minds of an abstruse academic discipline, but hey, what else is the New Review for? The field is cosmology, and the dispute concerns the issue of whether there exist parallel universes that together include “everything that physically exists: the entirety of space and time, all forms of matter, energy and momentum, and the physical laws and constants that govern them.”

Today we can reveal that at least one such parallel universe exists. It is usually found in Finland, but last week alighted on the ExCel Centre in London, where it was visited by several observers known to this columnist. It is called the Nokiaverse (though some call it Nokia World) and it is populated by people who believe that it is possible to go backwards into the future…