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"the [science fiction] writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you."
- Frederik Pohl

Precog  
  A person with precognitive ability (can predict the future).  

If you want to put criminals away before they commit crimes, you need to know the future. For that, you need precogs. Dickian precogs see just a short way into the future - "a week or two ahead at the very most."

Doors opened and closed, and they were in the analytical wing. Ahead of them rose impressive banks of equipment - the data-receptors, and the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material. And beyond the machinery sat the three precogs, almost lost to view in the maze of wiring...

All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs, held in one rigid position by metal bands, and bundles of wiring, clamps...

The three gibbering, fumbling creatures, with their enlarged heads and wasted bodies, were contemplating the future.

"Deformed... and retarded," Anderton instantly agreed. "...the talent absorbs everything; the esp-lobe shrivels the balance of the frontal area."

From The Minority Report, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Fantastic Universe in 1956
Additional resources -

H. Beam Piper used the word "precog" as a verb (maybe the first); Philip K. Dick used it as a noun to describe a precognitive person. See the other entry for precog (v).

Minority Report fans may be surprised that Dick used this word in his 1954 story A World of Talent:

“I can see some drawbacks to being a Precog. But knowing that you’re going to have a spat, can’t you alter things before it begins?”

Compare to the time machine from The Time Machine (1895) by HG Wells, the Dutch clock from The Clock That Went Backward (1881) by Edward Page Mitchell, the Anachronopete from El Anachronopete (1887) by Enrique Gaspar, the chronoscope from Legion of Time (1938) by Jack Williamson, and the time-telespectroscope from The Exile of Time (1931) by Ray Cummings.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Minority Report
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to The Minority Report
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Precog-related news articles:
  - Look Forward: IRS 'Pre-Audit' Would Predict Tax Cheating
  - IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
  - PredPol Crime-Prediction A Hit In L.A.
  - Police Use Predictive Maps ala 'Minority Report' Routinely
  - UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike

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