"Minority Report" is one of my favorite movies, and seeds interesting thoughts about the nature of precognition and alternative futures. Like a whole raft of popular scifi movies (starting with "Bladerunner"), it was inspired by a story by Philip K. Dick, first published in a pulp magazine back in 1954.
The story plot is notably different from that of the film, and the depiction of the precogs - not drifting in a flotation tank here, simply wired up to a mass of machinery that spits out cards rather than balls - is savagely harsh; they are called "babbling idiots" and "monkeys" who suffer from brain deformations that enable them to pump out information about future events they could never begin to understand.
I recommend reading the original version of "The Minority Report" for a provocative introduction to the nature of multiple or probable futures. As Dick writes: "If only one time-path existed, precognitive information would be of no importance, since no possibility would exist, in possessing this information, of altering the future." Exactly. To see something is already to change it, though we should not leap to the conclusion (expressed by a villain in the story) that "as soon as precognitive information is obtained, it cancels itself out."
In the story collection in which "The Minority Report" is included, the editor has included a welcome quote from a 1974 interview with Dick:
I used to believe the universe was basically hostile...I had a lot of fears that the universe would discover just how different I was from it...that it would find out the truth about me, and its reaction would be perfectly normal: it would get me. I didn't feel that it was malevolent, just perceptive...But this year I realized that that's not true. That the universe is perceptive, but it's friendly.
I'm so glad that Philip K. Dick rose to this view of things. If we are going to harbor a conspiracy theory about the universe, let's infuse it with pronoia (the wild belief that the universe is benign and things will work out for the best, regardless of evidence) rather than paranoia.