The Information Age, extending from the late 20th to the late 21st century c.e., was a time of tremendous increase in globalization, with free information available in unprecedented quantity (but not quality), the rise of a global culture, the decline of the nation-states, and the rise of the digital economy and digital nations and the so-called "megacorporations" of supranational blocs and transnational corporations. Social media began to provide an unprecedented degree of connection between people in all parts of the world.
Humanity became increasingly dependent on the vast computer networks that maintained this infrastructure, and did not realise that from the mid 21st century c.e. onwards some of these computers had passed beyond human control and embarked upon their own evolution, an evolution that would lead to their increasing dominion over the rest of the beings in the universe. No longer was man the highest form of intelligence on Earth; a new kingdom of beings had arisen, though few recognized this fact. Late in the century the Second Industrial Revolution gripped the world as rapid advances were made in (mostly biologically-based) nanotechnology. The inexpensive production of extraordinarily strong and light materials enabled humanity to start to expand into the solar system, and in the following decades, the start of the Interplanetary Age proper, humankind established a number of scientific industrial centres in orbit and on Luna, several outposts in the Belt and a manned research station on Mars.
________________________________________ 2000º 2001 - infamous September 11 terrorist attack on New York Twin Towers and Pentagon changes the shape of the political climate for the next half century.
2002 - US military uses Predator remotely piloted aircraft (UAV / RPV) for anti-terrorist operations.
2002 - Contact with Pioneer 10 lost (February 2003 c.e.)
2003 - Hollywood studios and other major entertainment institutions begin to be adversely impacted by PC and broadband internet developments, enabling downloading of complete movies, including pirated and home-made movies
2003 - Chinese launch their first manned rocket, the Shenzhou V, and become the third Earth polity to put a man in space
2008 - New milestones reached in the field of bioengineering put the goals of synthetic biology and lazurogenics within reach of Terragen's for the first time.
2008 - Further progress in development of expert systems, intelligent agents, knowledge miners, and proto-AIs.
2008 - Ruth Duorkin born
2011 - Paralysed woman completes marathon using powered bodysuit
2013 - Carapace armor first employed by American, Australian, and European military and security personnel working in peacekeeping and riot control situations.
2014 - Visual and tactile bodysuits enable advancement in personal Virtual Realities, which begin to take the market share from TV, radio, films, and other media.
2016 - First universal operational machine 'Harvey' constructed by a team lead by Peter Shor at Bell labs, with funding from IBM, Lycos, RedHat and Pepsi.
2016 - The planetary system of 61 Virginis has been largely mapped by various means by this date. Detected are a total of 9 planets, one of which is a terrestrial world located within the Habitable Zone of the star, orbiting at 0.97 AU. Initial spectroscopic studies suggest a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, and the presence of water.
2018 - Do-it-yourself medical care becoming ever more practical and effective for many ailments
2018 - Internet users in the developed nations are becoming increasingly isolated (cocooned) in physical terms.
2020's onwards - Development of smart and capable virtual agents, companions, and even employees, for home, work and play. These agents are often capable of passing the Turing Test, but are nevertheless not fully self-aware. See Semi-conscious Intelligence.
2020's - Cheap and widely available unmanned and remotely piloted micro-aircraft (UAVs and RPVs) begin to expand the scope of news and information gathering for the personal web-based media-casting and private individuals, weakening the power of individual geopolitical states and mega-corporations to control public perception.
2020's - Interactive video widespread. Infomation Age