Previously on Ether Street... Three NI readers have contacted a restless spirit called Nil who claims to have the wisdom of a thousand incarnations yet remains unconvinced by the Clinton-Blair Third Way.
That was just a joke, right? What you said about the New Internationalist being translated into 38 languages and hijacked as the UN house magazine by 2025?
Which is the joke? The idea that the UN could be associated with anything of such quality? Or that there are 38 languages which could translate the word 'Internationalist'?
No, we mean this notion that you can see into the future as easily as into the past.
But surely you expect that of me. Even the most unassuming spirit entities usually have a good line in predicting the future - foreseeing that Titanic was going to sink, that kind of thing. And spirits who are bit more adept can usually see beyond the event to the pattern behind it - to know, for example, that Titanic had to sink so that Leonardo di Caprio could make a million hearts flutter eight decades later.
How do you make sense of things if tomorrow looks the same as yesterday?
You might as well ask how Albert Einstein kept the Special Theory of Relativity in his head and still managed to eat his corn flakes in the morning. He explained that time was only relative to the observer almost a century ago yet you still don't seem to have grasped it.
Along with everyone else on earth.
Actually Einstein had a few chuckles up here the other month when he saw that Time magazine had made him their Man of the Century. This is the guy who launched his own War Resisters' International Campaign in 1932 yet was also one of the first people to see the need for resistance to Hitler's Nazis. Time's stablemate Life magazine listed him in the 1950s, at the height of McCarthyism, as one of the 50 most prominent 'dupes and fellow travellers'.
Yet he was also the man who made nuclear weapons possible.
But without realizing it - when he heard about the first atomic chain-reaction experiments he said 'I never thought of that at all'. And spent the rest of his life working for nuclear disarmament.
Sounds like you've got a soft spot for him.
Of course. He said: 'Politics are for the moment; an equation is for eternity.' But it didn't stop him caring and campaigning. How did we get on to Albert? Ah yes, the future. It's true that unlike just about everyone else who's summoned me, you haven't asked me anything about the future.
Okay, what about the future?
Roll up, roll up, for the magical mystery tour. Grease my palm and I'll chart your route through the tricky byways and backwaters of the new millennium.
You haven't got a palm.
I was speaking metaphorically. No, really - if you want me to be your friendly neighbourhood prophet you're going to have come up with a slightly more targeted question than 'what about the future?'
Okay, will there be a United States of the World by 2050?
Yes, and its Chief Executive Officer will be a tall dark stranger from the Monsanto Corporation (Mutants Division).