2055 to 2059
The late Fifties mark the beginning of a new generation, one which will never worry about having only a century to live, disease, or an era before transhumanism. The situation is serious, but the fact that people are doing things about it imbue the youngsters of this new generation with a shining sense of optimism, though their Generation Beta parents think of them as naiive. But progress is being made. The people in power are getting off their butts and doing something about the world's problems.
2055. Generation Gamma (2040 to 2055) ends and Generation Delta (2055 to 2070) begins. The Deltas are optimistic as a rule. They embrace the full range of powers transhumanism has to offer. They multitask like crazy. They travel around the world and beyond, working incredibly hard to pursue their dreams. John Smith, from my post about daily life in 2100, is a representative of the later part of this generation.
2055. Primary and secondary education has changed in the past forty years, and most of that change has been in the past five or ten. For one thing, education is no longer geared so heavily towards the retention of facts—brain implants can do that well enough—but towards the discovery of facts, and on learning how to think. For another thing, education is very heavily geared towards STEM fields; with robots taking over so many jobs, the choice is pretty much STEM or the street, with a few exceptions such as business, politics, and entertainment. The education system is also almost entirely virtual, and has mostly been privatized or semi-privatized, providing a greater range of options.
2055. An international Climate Change Reversal Summit is held in London. Many initiatives are started due to this summit, but the most important one is Project Verdant, an American-Brazillian collaboration to reverse desertification worldwide over the next 25 years.
2055. Suspended animation is successfully and safely performed on humans for the first time. It has only been tested on short-term scales of weeks or months thus far, but in time, it may prove helpful in reaching the outer Solar System, and beyond.
2056. After nearly two years of travel, the Jovian Missions land on Europa and Ganymede, each carrying a crew of eight. This is a historic moment: the first time humans reach the outer Solar System. It has been an international collaboration, with contributions from the United States, Russia, China, Japan, Europe (all of whom are members of the Global Space Exploration Commission), and many companies.
2056. This year is known as the Year of Transhumanism, and for a good reason. It is in this year that dozens of different fancy "upgrades" explode into mainstream usage, with people augmenting themselves just because they can, instead of for medical reasons. Most of these upgrades serve no real practical purpose, but a few that are invented this year go on to be more than just a fad.
2056. The Superhighway/Vactrain link between Russia and America is finally complete, running from Seattle to Anchorage to Nome and under the Bering Strait to Siberia City. Twenty years ago, it would have been a road/train to nowhere, but now that is not so. On the Russian side, Siberia City and a myriad other cities have sprung up in Siberia, and on the American side, Nome has become a bustling city thanks to a warming climate and serious trade opportunities. This connection creates a strong bond between the United States and Russia, though they retain a friendly rivalry. There is considerable interest in expanding the link, the Friendship Highway, as it is called, both on the Eurasian and North American ends.
2056. Technological unemplyoment rates have surged to over 20 percent, leading to global crime rates soaring. In response to this, the United States creates the Bureau of Watchers. The BOW is far more skilled at gathering intelligence than its predcessor, the NSA. With predictive algorithms, brain scanning, drones with advanced holocams, and a new police division of NART at their disposal, they begin to working to curb the crime wave.
2057. Human synthesis is performed successfully for the first time. After a few genetic tests, the newly made synthetic is adopted and raised as a normal person; her identity is not public knowledge due to the risk of undue attention and persecution.
2057. The California Spur of the vactrain system has been completed. It runs from the terminus at Seattle down to southern California and then east to Texas. Meanwhile, a line to Chicago and Pennsylvania City is under construction.
2057. Claytronics and nanotechnology have advanced to the point where very basic shapeshifting is possible in small, simple objects. For instance, an object can change from a red cube to a blue sphere and back again at the press of a button.
2058. Traditional assembly lines have been rendered virtually obsolete by 3D printing, which is now capable of quickly and cheaply making all but the most complex and specialized objects. Very large objects like buildings and skyscrapers are typically printed in smaller elements, which can then be fitted together on-site in a matter of hours or days.
2058. Technological unemployment reaches its worst at around 25.8 percent. From here on, this percentage will be reduced to nearly zero as people take advantage of the quickly expanding wealth of new opportunities that are opening up in a myriad of sectors whose existence was barely dreamed of fifty years ago.
2058. The Pennsylvania City line of the vactrain system has been completed, allowing transcontinental train travel in under an hour, for a fraction of the cost of similarly fast air travel. However, air travel is still utilized in many cases, since vactrains do not go everywhere. And, of course, VR conferencing has become the norm in the past fifteen years, reducing—but not elliminating—the need for long-distance business travel in general.
2058. Another wave of Islamic terrorism is rising again in North Africa after having been dormant since the fall of the Caliphate a quarter of a century ago. This will be the final major wave of Islamic extremism, although Islam itself will continue to exist and be practiced by millions of people for at least several centuries.
2059. The Russians begin helium-3 mining in their lunar base near the south pole of the moon. With this new resource, they begin constructing the first nuclear fusion power plants designed for helium-3 fusion.
2059. Some corporations are beginning to use AI to run complex simulations, helping corporate officials in decision-making in management of the companies. However, humans still have full control over the actual running of companies, and will do so for a very long time to come.
2059. Telepathic communication becomes practical, fast, and reliable enough for everyday conversations. This new technology makes use of brain implants to record the words that a speaker is saying and transmit them to the recipient's brain implant, which will make the recipient "hear" what is being said, though this is a clever auditory illusion done by the implants.
2059. Five years after the end of the dictatorship in North Korea, much effort has been made to reapir the dictatorship's damage, and in many cases this is succeeding. The two Koreas finally reunify, becoming simply Korea again.