In the new television series Minority Report—as in the film of the same name—a police force employs “precogs” to prevent crimes before they happen. This week in Future Tense, Patric M. Verrone points out that the show’s own predictions about tomorrow are unlikely to be quite so successful. Sure, some science fiction stories are scarily accurate. But, as I argued in another article, if you really want to know what the future holds, you’d be better off looking at what science-fiction fans are up to.
Here are some of the other stories that had us booting up our 3-D printers this week:
- Aliens: In conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Edward Snowden observed that encryption technologies might be interfering with our ability to contact alien civilizations. In context, it’s a very sensible point. Really!
- Net Neutrality: While men have received much of the credit for efforts to preserve a free and open Internet, Marvin Ammori proposes that overlooked women contributed far more.
- Volkswagen: The VW emissions scandal is just the beginning. Copyright laws and other restrictions make it difficult to detect and prevent corporate criminality.
- Right to be Forgotten: In France, privacy regulators are trying to dictate what does and does not appear in Google search results. The company is pushing back, a struggle that, Mike Godwin insists, couldn’t be more important.
- Parenting: Parents are using drones to pull out children’s loose teeth. This is not a joke: We have video.
Broadcasting from the year 3000,
for Future Tense