Rewatched «Minority Report» yesterday (the 2002 movie, not the new series) — one of the rare futuristic gems that does not look more and more ridiculous over time. Spielberg took it seriously and hired a bunch of visionaries to forecast the next few decades. Most of technology depicted looks contemporary or nascent by now.

But there’s a single glaring aspect that was not obvious 13 years ago, and is completely incredible now — the abundance of privacy in a major metropolitan area in 2054. They have a clear high resolution video of a currently lawful citizen, face clearly visible, and yet they don’t have his name — they rely on the precogs to come up with it, and when they have a full name they don’t have _anything_ like the current place of residence, any kind of trail like credit card purchases or last locations spotted etc.

They have clear pictures of unique buildings, but they say «well, there’s thousands of those in the city, we can’t guess the address from that».

The chief of police has literally been on crack for years and no one knows about it. Wait, scratch that, this type of elitist privacy is still quite imaginable.

The question is, were the visionaries working on the movie consciously predicting a society returning to the ideals of privacy? Were they intuitively expecting Snowden and Assange? Or was it completely wishful thinking to keep the plot from falling apart?

If the movie had been in development hell a decade longer and was shot today, would pre–crime be about homeland drone strikes based on massive data collection and automated continuous profiling? Would it still be pure fiction or would it be firmly based on recent events and current trends?

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Andrew Pantyukhin’s story.