Physicists will tell anyone who will listen that there is no such thing as the “present”, or the “future”. Spacetime exists only as the past, because the other two states of time are an illusion constructed by the reality-creation mechanism known as the human mind.

You’re reading this in the present. On no you’re not. You’re reading it as it was, hypothetically, one or more nanoseconds ago. The present is the past. Confusingly, this past might also be a trick of spacetime that depends on our perspective of being its inhabitants.

If the conventional 4D universe is better thought of as a gargantuan information exchange through the medium of light (all matter and forces thereof being made of it) that happened in a lightless flash outside the fabric of spacetime, then the universe that we perceive to exist, does not in fact exist in the larger cosmological sense. We simply think it does, because the moment where spacetime and non-spacetime collided created a long tail of cause and effect from our reality-driven perspective within it.

All of which, yes, brings me neatly on to the arrival of Windows Vista this week. Following on from this convoluted preamble, Vista has already been launched to mild acclaim. Every one of the billion copies that will ever be sold or pirated, has already been sold or pirated in that original inscrutable emergence of spacetime into its mystifying state of zero energy, zero mass, and zero time.

The photonic matter from which its box art, DVD disks, and digital weightlessness are an expression, are only able to exist in our cosmology because they already “know” from the said primal moment that the photonic matter on your hard disk is there to receive it with great willingness.

The loading of software and cursing that might arise from it in the next few years is inevitable within our spacetime perspective insofar as it had to happen because it is built into the fabric of everything. To remove that from the fundamental equation, would be to negate everything, and that is impossible, though it is equally valid to say that our choice *not* to load it is also on the cosmological menu. If you shun Vista, that shunning has already happened, although looked at from outside spacetime, the shunning is simply a past-less, present-less, future-less omnipresent informational event. The matter from which Vista is made already knows you will shun it, which is not to say that the universe is deterministic, simply that all possible determinations are set within the field of a bounded cosmological possibility. Eh?

No, I have not been drinking and don‘t advocate such a course of action as an accompaniment to nonsense such as this. In the near future (when is that again?), I might down a stiff one as I remove the shrinkwrap from my copy of Vista... WHEN MICROSOFT GETS AROUND TO SENDING ME A COPY! Meantime, I will ponder the inevitability of the arrival.

NB: Before you email me to say "crap", the above is intended to be mildly satirical and is not intended as a genuine interpretation of any existing scientific theory. Obviously.