Could You Be Arrested Before You Commit A Crime?
(Or before you even think about it?)
Steven Spielberg’s great film Minority Report was released in 2002, almost twelve years ago. The film painted a future replete with extremely advanced technology some of which we would find very threatening.
In 2002 that future vision seemed to be one that could not be realized very quickly. However, to a large degree that future has arrived much faster than many would have thought possible. We are all painfully aware that as soon as we purchase some electronic device it is often obsolete by the time we open the box.
In the last twelve years technology has experienced a 1000-year leap. Many things that could only be visualized in 2002 have become reality. This should amplify our concerns in light of the government’s deep intrusion into and destruction of our privacy. Each day we learn of new and disturbing violations of our rights by Big Brother.
In Minority Report, Spielberg introduces us to the Precogs. The Precogs are human beings with psychic abilities. These servants of the state spend their time floating in what looks like a large hot tub waiting for a view into the future. They are wired up to police computers for monitoring. Their job is to detect future crimes before they occur.
As they meditate the Precogs are able to actually visualize future crimes. What they see, the police can see as their psychic visions are projected onto police monitors. The police are dispatched to arrest the future criminal before his or her crime is ever committed. Those who are arrested and charged may not have even considered committing a crime at the time of their arrest.
In light of the current flood of revelations about the government’s intrusion into every area of our lives, we best sit up and take notice. The Precogs are here. They are already at work. We are watched and analyzed all the time. If they want to get you they can. The Tea Party people found this out. It took a while to put the puzzle together, but now the evidence is verified. They were targeted and harassed. We can be targeted and harassed, or worse.
The Precogs of today are not human psychics who float in a warm hot tub all day. Rather they are advanced computer software programs designed with very specific algorithms, detailed and intricate mathematical formulas that can predict future crimes. These systems are already proving successful in several American cities. Many other cities will follow their lead.
These crime prediction systems can help make much better use of manpower, save money and waste, and reduce crime by patrolling in the high-risk areas during vulnerable times. Like everything else technology brings with it benefits and curses. It all depends on who controls it and what their agenda is.
Today, these programs are not able to point to a particular person who will commit a specific crime at a specific time and place. But, they can, with uncanny accuracy predict crime patterns and the probability that a particular crime will occur in a specific place or neighborhood.
They can also narrow down the potential times of these crimes. If we have another massive technological leap in the next ten or twelve years, we may just see real Precogs take to the tub.
Some experts believe that these computer programs are more accurate than their human counterparts.
A July 2, 2012, article posted by MIT Technology Review, reported that:
“A recent study suggest that computers could be better than seasoned police analysts at predicting when and where crime will strike in a busy city.” The article can be found here.
At first glance we might summarily dismiss the possibility that people could be arrested before they commit a crime, like in Minority Report. I think it a serious mistake to laugh this off as impossible.
It wasn’t that long ago that we thought it was impossible to run the four-minute mile. Now it’s done all the time. A multitude of engineers and scientists, before the Wright Brothers flight, deemed it impossible for a heavier than air craft to fly. In 1934 Albert Einstein himself stated that there was not the slightest indication that nuclear energy would ever be obtainable. I could go on, but what we claim is impossible usually is not.
Honestly, until recently, did you think that Big Brother was watching and listening to everything you do, you, who are not up to something evil? And, I assure you, that we don’t know all that they can do either. There is no way to tell what technologies they have that remain secret. Don’t forget they still have the alien from the Roswell incident in the basement of the White House.
The good news is that through all the revelations of the last four years, Americans have begun to trim away some of their naiveté. They are starting to revert to the “trust and verify” approach. This must happen or we will walk right into slavery. This has happened to millions of people throughout history. These were those who blindly trusted their own governments.
It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.