The Human World
The world of 2071 is divided along lines of culture and economy rather
than national states; power is in the hand of influential
organizations, ideologies and corporations. While people still refer
to "China" or the "The US", they refer to complex networks of allied
groups and the people sharing their culture.
The Earth is no longer prime estate; overcrowding, environmental
change, the threat of terrorism and gravity makes it a less desirable
place to live than the orbital habitats or the new terraformed
worlds. Most of the "real people" live in orbit.
The national state weakened during the first decades of the 21st
century due to the spread of fast communications, global economy and
several disasters, and after the Information Disaster they became
purely formal organizations for running local infrastructure, defense,
law enforcement etc. Instead the different cultures became more and
more important: a westener can relatively easily understand other
westeners and fit in anywhere in the western world, but would have
great difficulty in Asia. Hence cultural dividing lines have become
the real borders, and humanity has become aligned into several large
The West is no longer number one, and this has affected its mood quite a bit.
Instead of attempting to be the dominant economical or political
power, Europe attempts to be the world's conscience, holding its moral
high ground. Members of other cultures often joke about the
politically corect europeans who fight against everything that can be
viewed as racist, sexist, non-ecological, elitistic or just plain
unethical. Economically most of Europe is stable, efficient and
strongly integrated. Towards the east it becomes poorer and wilder;
Russia has been to a large extent "tamed", but there are many poor
regions and the central asian conflicts have long since become a
tiring and incomprehensible local headache.
America did not take well to its eclipse, and has become quite
isolationist. A strong nationalism built on the idea of America as
"God's Own Country" has popular support. Economically it is not as
strong as Europe, having big internal trouble with desertification in
the midwest, refugee camps in the south, local miniconflicts and the
lack of natural resources. America has turned increasingly towards an
ambitious space program, including the less than successful colony New
In the same way americans once saw Europe as the "Old World" and
themselves as more successful and enterprising the immense asian
economies view the West as outdated, puzzling remnants of the 20th
century. Instead of the political correctness of Europe or the
nationalism of America asia is dominated by a mixture of market
thinking, pragmatism and social cohesion.
China is largest, strongest and richest of the asian economies. In
many ways China is the successor of the United States: the chinese
have a huge industry, a dominant position in most research, immense
environmental problems and doesn't hesitate to use its power to
influence other regions such as Japan, Korea and the "tigers" which
have a slightly more refined approach. Much of the economy is tied
into huge economical conglomerates, a mixture of japanese Zaibatsu,
geographical regions and social networks.
Genetic engineering, terraforming and CSCW are promoted in Asia.
Since much of the West and the Arab world are negative to genetic
engineering, the clinics of Shanghai and Hanoi have a thriving
"tourist" business. In general Asia is seen as a slight bit too
pragmatic and ruthless by the other cultures, while asians often
regard themselves as fair-minded and honest about what they like.
The Arab World
The Arab world is in a renaissance. Many draw parallels to the
caliphate; the culture is dominated by the idea of a common arabian
culture incorporating the best ideas from other cultures while
remaining quintessentially arabian. Education, especially in
the classics and science, is seen as essential.
Saudi-Arabia remains the de facto center of the arab world
(instead of oil it now exports antigravity technology and know how),
while the other regions promote different aspects of the pan-arabian
India never really got into the global information society before the
Information Crisis, and hence did relatively well despite the DELTA
epidemics a decade before. Despite a good starting position in the
modern world it is plagued by several local conflicts, high
population density and the pressures from the Asian and Arabian cultures.
India has gone its own way, and does not interact much with the other
cultures. Instead it has turned towards the goal of total self
sufficiency, including a large fleet of geostationary solar power
satelites, space agriculture and terraforming of Mars.
Companies and other organisations have much more power than in the
20th century, often eclipsing the power of nations. However, most
support the remaining states (after all, it is better to leave the
running of the infrastructure and social systems to a government than
have to deal with them themselves).
- World Finance Council: world trade organisation, the western version of the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere Foundation.
- "The Captain's Club": an informal network of spaceship captains and habitat executives. Formed during the Disaster, and remains an important contact and professional network.
- The Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere Foundation: diffuse economical organisation behind much of the economy of Asia.
- Council of Arabian Academics: A discussion group for pan-Arabian education, delineating the direction and contents of much of the curriculum. As society developed into a knowledge economy, the Council has become a highly influential group.
- International Crisis Command: International
command founded after the information disaster to handle global crisis
situations. Responsible for the defense of humanity through the
International Crisis Military Alliance (ICMA).
- International Xenological Research Council (IXRC):
Professional organisation for xenobiological and xenological studies. Advisory organisation for the ICC during the current crisis.ICC.
- Tanken Mutual: Insurance
- Bank of Yi: Interstellar banking and financing
- Orbitel: Communications, media and investments.
- Enhance: News, entertainment and interaction.
- Look Outwards Combine: Immense Chinese-Japanese-Korean combine in antimatter production, space development and energy production.
- Fusai Enterprises: Diversified biotechnological conglomerate.
- Nanotech Enterprises: The world leader in nanotechnology.
- Ecosoft: Ecological software and modelling, terraforming planning.
- Lagrange Engineering: Megascale construction, habitat engineering.
- Riyad Agrav: Antigravity units and FTL drives.
- Hondo Space: Space travel
- Lichida Materials: Special materials, usually nano- or bio-technological.
- Computer Supported Collaborative Work - enhanced reality systems where AI and agents help several users collaborate and share knowledge and skills.
- A person using genetic therapy to slow aging. The Dauer method influences metabolism strongly, which forces Dauers to keep an extremely strict diet to avoid deadly diabetes.
- Dynamic geometry
- Strong space-time curvature used in FTL travel.
- Large solar energy plants, on the ground or in space.
- Slang for regions where government control have collapsed and are completely out of touch with the rest of the world.
- Warning satelit with one-shot soliton wave transmittor.
- A packet of hypermedia - text, simulations, data, VR, agents.
- Derogatory term for planetary inhabitants, especially those who refuse to leave the homeworld.
- Near Earth Object, asteroids in Earth-crossing orbits. Often used for military bases, which has led to the term being used for all military space bases.
- Person who lives in a space habitat.
- Status Geometry
- "Normal" spacetime, not the dynamical geometry of FTL.
- The underlying reality beneath spacetime, described by the GUT.
- Space mines; stationary wasps (often stealthed) in the vicinity of strategic targets.
- Gravity waves from re-entry in status geometry.
- Combat machine for space battles, capable of intense accelerations and attacks. Usually run by an AI.