Monday, October 31, 2005

Episode #2 Minority Report & Justice

In this Episode of the Sci Phi Show we look at the 2002 Steven Speilberg film Minority Report based on the Philip K Dick story, The Minority Report

Episode #2 (26 minutes 46 seconds)

Show Notes

Minority Report
The Minority Report
Counter Factuals
Mental Escher

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Blogger Jesse said...

Great show! Looking forward to Show 3.

Its cool you're doing literary stuff too. There's a great little short story by Orson Scott Card called "Fat Farm".

9:30 AM  
Blogger Bob Mottram said...

Minority report is quite a good sci-fi which sports a number of near future technologies and raises questions which are quite contemporary.

On the technology side the most obvious feature of this film is the gesture based user interface which the John Anderton character uses to examine the visions of the precogs. This kind of thing would be possible to do even with today's technology, although it would be expensive to implement.

The other prominent piece of technology is the iris scanning. This technology is already available now. Although there is presently no system which can scan people's eyes from a distance as they enter through a doorway, as depicted in the film, it's only a question of time before the resolution of digital imaging makes that possible. Whether we want to use technology in this way is really a matter for society as a whole to decide, but it does look very much like these sorts of biometric system will become ubiquitous, possibly enabling new forms of digital totalitarianism.

What would happen if we were able to predict crimes, or terrorist incidents, before they actually occured, and should people be jailed even if they didn't commit a crime, but merely thought about doing it or looked at a few relevant web sites? I have met social workers who claimed that they could tell which children were going to become criminals, based upon their previous behavior and background, and as our knowledge of genetics and the workings of the brain becomes more refined it may be possible to make these sorts of judgements on a firmer basis than mere intuition. All of which begs the question as to whether free will actually exists, or whether we are all just actors compelled to follow a largely predetermined script, rather like in the story Slaughter house five by Kurt Vonnegut.

1:28 AM  

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