Electronic-age prophet Marshall McLuhan claimed we should be listening to artists if we want to know where we're headed, because it's their job to use the technology of the day to paint pictures of tomorrow. In this Viewpoint series, "Mining Movies," I look for hints of what's to come in technology by examining one of the most popular forms of modern artistry: futuristic movies. From Star Wars to Minority Report to I Robot, movie artists -- or "movicians" -- have been spinning fantastic, inspirational, and sometimes frightening tales that can nevertheless serve as excellent sources of information about what lies ahead for us as citizens, workers, and, above all, learners. Mining Movies ran during 2005. These were originally created for Technology and Learning magazine, which is no longer in publication.