Future Law, the Power of Prediction, and the Disappearance of Time
The human fascination with the art of predicting the future derives from the practical need to anticipate events to make adequate decisions. While science fiction has undoubtedly contributed greatly to this field, there are a large number of other forms of expression of the same desire to predict the future in almost every field of activity—from the arts to science, from technology to linguistics, and from artificial intelligence to magic—all of which constantly contribute to bringing the future closer to the present. However, there is one field that potentially has the greatest predictive power of them all: that is the field of law. To release this latent power of law, this article argues, a cognitive revolution has to take place, one that is related to the perception of time. Awareness about this cognitive change is dawning and is currently manifesting itself in a general trend derived from related trends of convergence in language and technology. These trends are captured by the rise of the rhetorical figures of oxymora and paradoxes, or so-called “essentially oxymoronic concepts,” that increasingly pervade all human activities. Over the course of time, these concepts appear to have shown the magical power of bringing opposites into closer contact and possibly transcending their apparent contradictions to create a new reality. Pondering the future role of law while considering the present perception of time based on the dichotomy of the past and the future, this article inquires how far oxymora and paradoxes such as science fiction and space-time indicate an acceleration, a gradual shrinking and even a possible disappearance of time (as we know it).