Weve seen a lot of virtuality things
There are also entertainment applications of that. How close are we to that?
I think were a lot closer to the year 2054 than we think we are. I think that if anything the movie underestimates the pace of change thats going on in the culture right now. You have to remember Moores Law: chip processing capacity doubles every eighteen months and it continues to do so. And the more you can do that, the faster the pace of acceleration. I remember back in the mid-nineties, that movie, Wim Wenders, Until the End of the World, and it was set in the year 1999 and this woman was e-mailing or e-sending a small video from Russia to the States and I thought to myself (GASPS) Thats so impossible. Good Lord. Thatll never happen, thats too complex, and of course now we do it all the time. (SIGHS) Yeah. No, I, I think
The, the pace of change is just something that we cannot imagine in the next fifty years, you know.
What role do futurists legitimately hold in shaping our future through a means of storytelling and scenario planning? How can we shape peoples vision?
I think the way that creative people who make films or write books or whatever art form, their job, our job is to plant seeds, and thats all you can do. And for example the US Space Program, the Apollo Program, it was operated mainly by these guys who had grown up with amazing stories and rocket ships to Mars, and so what they went on-- that, that was the seed that was planted in them. They created the Apollo mission. And then you had the next generation that grew up with, you know, more ambivalent and ambiguous, uh, murkier visions of the future, and so we ended up with people creating technology that was murky and, and not quite so, you know, universal, like Get to the Moon. And with I think THE MINORITY REPORT youre planting a seed in people that maybe twenty or thirty years down the road is going to bear a fruit that tastes like or tells you that everything comes with a price and, uh, theres no such thing as a utopia, and even still, with all that, things can just work out.
Whats the trade-off that we all face in going to a world like this where were willing to arrest people before a crime actually occurs?
I think when it comes to Precrime I think what were seeing in action is the inversion in the most extreme form of innocent until proven guilty. You completely turn that around and suddenly you are guilty and not only
. Well, youre guilty, and were not even going to allow you to prove that youre innocent, and that, thats a very political statement, and to apply that to American culture, where for the large part you are innocent until proven guilty, thats going to cause a bit of a meltdown in the minds of a few viewers because its just so the opposite of what weve been trained to believe all our lives. Its a good, its a good exercise. Its a good little mental trampoline.
There are some references in the movie to where the Pre-Cogs live, their tank being a Temple, and the people who attend them being like priests or clergy. Is ascribing values that are outside law enforcement and crime .. is that just a neat trick to mitigate locking up innocent people, or is it that we might accept that more readily?
In a modern society theres complete separation of state and church, and to try and integrate not quite church, but what is it? Science? Is it ESP? Into, you know, the American Bill of Rights
What do you find interesting in visualizing and predicting the future?
When it comes to the future Im not really interested in seeing great big tall wow buildings, or anything like that. I want to look inside someones house. I want to see what their living room looks like, I want to see what their kitchen looks like, I just want to see their pet. I want to see that kind of thing. I want to see what trash looks like in the future. What are people going to throw out and what are they going to consider valuable? Um
will it be noisy? Will it be quiet? That to me is very important in creating a plausible future, and again I have to stress that this whole exercise is about creating a plausible future, which is something we dont do very much anymore. I think the future kind of ooh, scary. But its a wonderful exercise.
Watch the Minority Report trailer.
Find out more about the author Philip K Dick.