‘Minority Report’ Tried to Warn Us About Technology

(theatlantic.com)

39 points | by vijayr02 10 days ago

4 comments

  • labrador 9 days ago
    The central concept of Minority Report, based on a novella by Philip K. Dick, is that D.C.’s new “Precrime” division has eliminated murder in the city by tapping the brains of three psychics dubbed “precogs,” whose dreams of death are used to prevent killings before they happen.

    P.K. Dick spent a lot of time thinking about the apparent fluidity of reality and worried that he was creating new realities for people by creating possible futures in his books and publishing them to a mass audience

    source: The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick Unabridged

    If you'd like a smaller sample of his brilliant work read: "How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later"

    https://urbigenous.net/library/how_to_build.html

  • inglor_cz 10 days ago
    Interesting that one of the main collaborators on the movie, Janusz Kamiński, was Polish.

    Polish sci-fi from the Cold War period was full of tech dystopia with a dollop of absurdity: Stanislaw Lem is well known in the Western world, Janusz Zajdel less so, but he was no less talented. Even Andrzej Sapkowski, the author of the Witcher, dabbled in SF dystopia in some of his less known stories.

    It is likely that Janusz Kamiński was influenced by them at least a bit. In Slavic dystopias, you cannot laugh at the tyrant, but you can at least grin at his minions, who are usually as stupid as they are mean.

    It is nice to notice from here in Central Europe, a tiny thread of a shared Cold War experience in a world class movie that is ostensibly about a very different world.

    • d0mine 9 days ago
      The article claims that it is about our world: "he imagined an America filled with dazzling inventions but rotting from the inside out, one in which the erosion of civil liberties is thinly veiled by chest-thumping braggadocio about technology’s power to solve every problem. Spielberg's eye-scanning cameras and autocratic cops could easily be exchanged with the overreach of the PATRIOT Act, or the NSA listening in to casual conversations."
  • d4rkp4ttern 8 days ago
    So did Frank Herbert’s Dune (1965, 9 years after PKD’s Minority Report story), specifically the “Butlerian Jihad”[1]

    [1] https://dune.fandom.com/wiki/Butlerian_Jihad

    > We must negate the machines-that-think. Humans must set their own guidelines. This is not something machines can do. Reasoning depends upon programming, not on hardware, and we are the ultimate program! Our Jihad is a "dump program." We dump the things which destroy us as humans!

  • nonrandomstring 10 days ago
    Hard to read, because every word of it feels like something that casually crossed my mind as unremarkable 10 years ago. What's truly terrifying is an Atlantic article can hail Spielberg's "prescience" in 2022! Are people really only just catching up decades too late? Or is there a niche market for these "No shit Sherlock" articles?