Another century's gone by! Time for a longer post again, a recap of the last century.
As you read this, consider that some of you might beat the odds and still be alive in the time period described below (albeit very old, but still...the oldest people alive in 2200 in this timeline are already 25-ish today)
THE WORLD IN 2200
Space colonization has vastly increased in the past century, to the point where the number of IPR citizens in space numbers around 570 million and humans have permeated almost every corner of the Solar System. Mars and Luna remain the most densely populated worlds (except for Terra, obviously), with populations of 330 and 225 million, respectively. Mercury has three million people, while the Asteroid Belt has two million. Even the outer Solar System is becoming densely inhabited, thanks to the construction of large domed cities on the gas planets' moons. More than ten million people live beyond the Asteroid Belt, 90 percent of them on the Jovian or Saturnian moons. The most distant manned outpost is the moon Posiedon-I (a moon of Planet IX), where 150,000 people live. This moon is a top-secret military research facility whose reputation is similar to what Area 51 was two centuries prior, right down to the alien-related conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, three starships are hurtling through interstellar space to the Alpha Centauri and Tau Ceti systems, each bearing tens of thousands of colonists.
Closer to home, Mars has changed unbelievably in the past century. In 2100, the largest cities on Mars would have been little more than large towns on Earth. Now, the biggest cities on the Red Planet are major cities in their own right, with populations in the millions. And Mars has not just one space elevator, but two. Terraforming efforts have raised the average temperature to 19 Fahrenheit and the average pressure to nearly half that of Terra. Unprotected, a person could now survive several minutes on Mars, and the only gear that is needed to stay outside for extended periods are an oxygen mask, goggles, and a warm coat. (The elders are all like "In MY day, you needed a full spacesuit to go outside" to the incredulous children of 2200) Substantial areas of the planet now have a greenish hue from mosses and lichens, and the first frozen ponds and small lakes are forming on the surface. Luna also has its own large cities; if an observer on Terra were to stand in a place with no light pollution and an uncluttered orbitspace, they could easily make out city lights on Luna. Since Luna is smaller than Mars, Lunar terraforming is progressing faster than the Martian project; the moon already has a substantial atmosphere and lakes on the surface, though no plantlife has been introduced yet, and an oxygen mask is still needed outdoors.
On Terra, transport has changed little in the past century, except that it is less frequent, especially with the advent of arcologies (most people walk/take elevators from place to place in an arcology; walking is a good way to keep fit, and there's obviously never bad weather). The main limiting factor to vehicle speed is that they can only accelerate so fast without discomforting or harming passengers. A global transport system has been in place for most of the century, and there are no more national boundaries. This means that most people can travel anywhere they please, within reason. A similar system exists on Luna, and another one is has recently been finished on Mars.
Space travel at the dawn of the 23rd century is mostly done with antimatter power, though very old and/or very cheap vessels still use fusion. The enormity of typical spacecraft in 2200 is simply stunning. Some of the largest merchant vessels approach two miles in length and can carry tens of millions of tons of supplies. With such colossal vessels carrying vast bounties of raw materials like food from Terra, metals from Mercury, and volatiles from the gas giants (with 3D printers being as ubiquitous as they are, there is little need to transport finished goods around the Solar System), space piracy has become a legitimite concern in the past quarter-century. However, many cargo vessels have missiles and lasers as protective measures, and the SSTC (Solar System Trade Coalition) has invested in armed spacecraft to patrol high-risk areas. Furthermore, the Republic Intelligence Agency (RIA) employs advanced surveilance techniques, mind scanning, and predictive algorithms, making it almost impossible for would-be pirates (or any other criminals) to organize effectively. As such, only five cargo vessels have been successfully hijacked in the past twenty years, though each one has resulted in the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars, by 2016 standards.
Space stations continue to grow ever more common, both in the inner and outer Solar System, to the point that there are literally millions in Terran orbitspace. In many places on Terra, Luna, and Mars, the lights of space stations and satellites overhead can be seen on a clear night, far outshining the stars, looking like city lights in the sky. Fatal crashes are very rare, but only because of AI-guided orbital traffic control and regular and agressive collection/destruction of space junk. Also, even larger space stations are situated at Lagrangian points or in heliocentric orbit; some of these can be the size of large cities.
Virtually all energy in the Solar System is provided by fusion or solar, though fusion is near-universal beyond the Asteroid Belt, for obvious reasons. Some geothermal power is used in the outer colonies, and hydroelectric powers some parts of Terra, mainly a few Luddite Reservations. Antimatter is slowly making inroads, but there are still only a handful of antimatter plants in the entire Solar System. Human civilization stands at around 1.02 on the Kardashev Scale, and per capita energy use is more than 40 kilowatts. Energy costs per watt have fallen to a mere 9 to 11 percent of what they were two centuries ago.
The global average life expectancy has now risen to 161, with the oldest person alive being 209 years old; dozens of bicentarians are alive. One can barely fathom the shock and awe that these bicentarians must feel when comparing the state of the world in their youths to the state of the world in 2200. Anti-aging technology is advanced enough that people remain physically in their late 20's until reaching the age of about 85-90. Anti-aging also means that most people are waiting longer than ever to have children; the average new mother in 2200 is 45.8 years old, while the average new father is 47.1. Over the past century, producing children through ectogenesis has gone from unusual but not unheard of to extemely common; about 95 percent of babies born in 2200 are synthetic. The benefits provided by transhumanism have been greatly improved upon in the past century, but in general, give transhumans the same kinds of powers that they had in 2100. In 2200, 74 percent of the population is transhuman, 14 percent are biological humans, and 12 percent are androids. About 15 percent of the population is religious, with the most common religion being Islam.
Military innovations have continued in the past century. Laser rifles and railguns have become old-fashioned, but still versatile; newer railguns are so powerful that they can shoot further than the horizon (i.e., even small arms have beyond visual range capabilities). Newer particle-beam weaponry has also appeared alongside the older, more familiar small arms. The Interplanetary Armed Forces (IPAF) have more than 15 million active-duty personell, and tens of millions more in reserve, noncombatant, and police roles. All combat units and police are required by IPAF policy to be transhumans or military-grade androids, though no such restrictions are placed on noncombatants, such as military engineers and scientists. There are now over 1000 members of Project Warlock, the secret program producing psychic transhuman spies-cum-supersoldiers. Although the IPAF has a few spacecraft for transporting troops from world to world, the bulk of its space present is in orbitspace. For instance, it has a fleet of 300 space stations in Terran orbit, stocked with thousands of antimatter missiles (ranging from 1 milligram to several kilograms), nanoweapons, railcannons, megawatt-scale laserguns, and weather control technology for meteorological warfare. There are 100 more military space stations in Lunar orbit, and 150 more in Martian orbit. Emerging military technologies at the dawn of the 23rd century include sliquid metal, forcefields, and plasma tools/weapons.
In many ways, some parts of human civilization are starting to resemble an early Crystal Spires and Togas civilization. And the population of Terra has risen to more than 17 billion. Roughly 60 percent of the population now resides in arcologies, and another 37 percent live in traditional cities. The remaining 3 percent mostly live in rural areas. Standards of living have greatly increased. The poverty rate has fallen to 3.5 percent, while the unemployment rate has fallen to 1.8 percent. On Terra, the environment has pretty much completely recovered from the Industrial Age. Even in the middle of a city, the air would be surprisingly fresh and clean to someone from a century ago (or two or three). Most of the abandoned cities and farmland have been reclaimed by rewilding intiatives, and tens of thousands of reclaimed, synthetic, or genetically engineered species roam the newly rebuilt forests and grasslands. The global average temperature is stable at 1.8 Celsius above the average temperature two centuries ago.
Criminals have managed to partially adapt to the hypertechnological state of the world, though crime rates are still proportionately about a hundred times lower than they were two centuries ago. Individual crime has all but ceased. It pretty much never works, and you would probably be caught before you could even try to commit a crime. Even if you did manage to pull it off, you would be almost instantly apprehended. The only way that criminals can function are in extremely well-organized, well-funded (sometimes corporate-sponsored) groups that generally have billions to burn as well as insider help. And in the end, such organizations are virtually always destroyed by RIA agents and IPAF police.
Computing power has grown spectacularly, especially thanks to breakthroughs provided by femtotechnology in the past 30 years; computers have also continued to minaturize spectacularly. Desktop computers are only six inches by two inches by four inches on average, and femtotechnological breakthroughs allow crude computers to literally be made out of individual atoms. Mind downloading and mind uploading technology have both been developed. Downloading still costs the equivalent of a few thousand dollars at a time, but is rapidly improving. Uploading, however, still costs many millions of dollars by 2016 standards, and many people are scared of the slight errors that occasionally result; thus only the very rich and very desperate use it.
Last but not least, the political situation has changed in the past century. There were more than a dozen nations in 2100; now there is only one. The very meaning of democracy has changed. In 2200, all politicians are elected by popular vote, and the executive branch is headed by an Interplanetary Council, not a single president. The IPC now consists of seven Terrans, four Martians, three Lunars, two from the Jovian moons, two from the Saturnian moons, one Mercurian, one from the Asteroid Belt, and one from the outer colonies. Instead of a traditional legislature, the general public proposes and discusses bills, while the IPC judges public consensus for the proposed bills.