030 to 130 AT: The Information Age
Image from Bernd Helfert
Orion's Arm Tranquility Calendar Conversion Tool
The Information Age, roughly coterminous with the 21st century CE (mid-first through early second century AT), was a time of tremendous increase in globalization, with free information available in unprecedented quantity (but mixed quality), the rise of a global culture and digital economy, and the decline of the power of nation-states relative to supranational blocs, cultural movements, and transnational corporations. Social media began to provide an unprecedented degree of connection between people in all parts of the world.
Humanity and its economy became increasingly dependent on and invested in data and computing technology, with technological advances compounding on one another to develop true artificial intelligence (AI) in the latter half of the century. No longer was humanity the only type of Terragen sophont mind; the arrival of turingrade and later superturing AI enabled new possibilities and technological advancements in society. Advances in materials and engineering technology as well as automation, partially enabled by machine learning and AI, allowed cheaper access to space and the earliest outposts of off-Earth science and industry. The first permanent settlements on Luna, Mars, and in the Asteroid Belt, as well as the earliest space habitats, were thus made possible and led to the Interplanetary Age.
The Industrial Age
30 AT (1998-1999 CE) 30s - 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.
33 - September 11 terrorist attack on New York Twin Towers and Pentagon changes the shape of the political climate for the next several decades.
33 - Teleoperated robotics starts to play an increasing role in warfare, particularly anti-terrorist operations.
34 - Human genome sequenced.
35 - Chinese launch their first manned rocket, the Shenzhou V, and become the third Earth polity to put a man in space.
38 - Hand-held web-connected camera phones allow individuals quick and easy access to independent news sources, social networks, and other media. Concerns about privacy and adverse effects on society subsequently grow.
39 - Dawn solar-powered ion-drive space probe is launched by NASA to study Vesta and Ceres.
39 - Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) enacted in the United States.
40s AT - Alongside TV and cinema, social media such as homemade Internet videos becomes a significant source of entertainment as well as a new platform of social influence.
40s AT - Thousands of exoplanets begin to be detected, including some worlds similar in size to Earth in the habitable zone of their star. Searching for biosignatures is not yet possible.
41 - First synthetic bacterial cell created, modeled on a naturally evolved organism.
42 - IBM's Watson computer wins quiz show Jeopardy.
43 - Paralyzed woman completes marathon using powered bodysuit.
46 - New Horizons probe reaches Pluto.
47 - Personal virtual reality media interfaces start to become more common and commercially successful; however, limits in the technology prevent widespread adoption at this time.
50 AT (2018-2019 CE) 50s - Development of increasingly larger, smarter and more capable AI models powering virtual agents, companions, chatbots, art generator software, and other expert systems for home, work and play. These AI are becoming able to match or even surpass human performance on a growing number of tasks. Sometimes, they are capable of passing some forms of the Turing Test but are nevertheless not self-aware. AI begins to have a growing impact on academics, industries, governments, corporations and the lives of ordinary individuals.
51 - An epidemic of SARS coronavirus starts in China and spreads around the globe. The disease and governmental stay-at-home orders to slow down its spread necessitate rapid advances in some aspects of teleconferencing and biomedicine.
51 - Simple 4-legged robots become available for commercial and industrial use.
52 - Satellite internet constellations in low Earth orbit begin to be established by a number of corporations, providing widespread low latency, high reliability and high bandwidth internet services on the surface and in orbital stations. Over the following decades, global internet coverage is achieved and greatly expanded telepresence systems in space are developed.
57 - Artemis III mission lands humans on Luna, ending a 53-year gap in crewed off-Earth landings. The mission's success spurs on efforts at further crewed exploration of Luna and later, Mars.
59 - Multiple teleoperated robots (telenauts) of various designs deployed off-Earth in several capacities. Use of teleoperation greatly reduces costs and increases the scale and range of missions that can be safely undertaken.
60s AT - Regenerative medicine products increasingly play a role in healthcare.
65 - Self-contained autonomous robot systems (homebots) with some generalist capabilities available commercially.
65 - Orbital Internet expanded to Luna using a series of satellites in Lunar orbit and receiver/repeaters landed around the location of the first planned installation. Teleoperated robots and fully autonomous robots (with limited functions) begin lunar development.
66 - Electrical and hybrid vehicles represent a large percentage of car ownership. Most nations have policies favoring them over the environmentally damaging combustion engine cars, and many countries have banned combustion engine vehicle sales entirely. There are ongoing heavy investments in the development of charging infrastructure worldwide and more efficient batteries, and in widespread transportation electrification.
67 - Onset of the "First AI Revolution" as the development of subsentient AI and AI-controlled robots results in a steep decline in human employment in some fields. Although these jobs are thereafter replaced in the labor market by more complex jobs that required general intelligence, the resulting socioeconomic upheaval leads to widespread political debate.
67 - First recorded attempts at holovision using optical phased arrays.
68 - Fragmentary records indicate that the inception of the Burning Library Project occurred around this date.
68 - The construction of the first "permanent" teleoperated Moon base begins. This base is entirely designed to be operated by telepresence and has no accommodation for biont inhabitants or visitors at this time.
68 - First manned Mars mission - the Discovery and Endeavor - launches for Mars, arriving in 69 AT. Teleoperated robots play a role in exploring various areas of the planet. After this initial mission, exploration beyond Luna reverts to unmanned probes for another 25 years.
70 AT (2038-2039 CE) 70s - Primitive neuro-technological interfacing increasingly available for medical and non-medical purposes. Consists primarily of non-invasive, wearable technology.
70 - Precooled air-breathing rocket engines allow for the first trans-oceanic hypersonic airliners as well as reusable SSTO vehicles. Initial costs are high but dramatically decrease the launch costs to space.
71 to 78 AT - Creation of first semi-sentient AI (several events). These entities are still not at a fully human-equivalent level.
75 AT - Ken Ferjik, one of the great pioneers of virtuality mediated education, is born.
70s-80s AT - Construction of Hotel Celesta, a five-star resort and space station in zero-g intended for the small but gradually increasing number of people who can afford space tourism.
78 - Personal transport market dominated by autonomous cars. Many nations have regulations limiting the use of manually-controlled cars. Fully autonomous cars are legalized in a few nations and begin to take market share from human-controlled cars.
79 - A room temperature superconductor is discovered on an orbital research platform. The new material is comparatively simple to make but requires free-fall conditions to synthesize. Interest in space development increases markedly.
80s AT - Fossil fuels are mostly phased out in favor of other, more sustainable energy sources. Nevertheless, energy remains a pressing concern for humanity as the ever increasing demand for power needs to be met without significantly compromising the environment. Disagreements on how to find balance between sustainability and progress drive some conflicts in the following decades.
80 - Virtual reality interfacing provided by contact-lens-based systems as well as comparable devices for auditory stimuli become common. Implantable devices to directly stimulate the retina are being tested on volunteers, but require further development before they are ready for the mass market.
80 - VirchMon first developed as smart pets, companions and virus guards for frequent net-users.
81 - First inter-city Vac-train system developed in China with plans to extend through Asia to Europe and Africa as part of the Silk Road Development program.
83 - First magbeam projectors built in Earth orbit and on Luna. Each projector uses a large solar array and superconducting storage rings to produce the 82MW of energy needed to accelerate a 10 tonne transport craft on a tenth-gravity continuous boost trip to or from the Moon.
85 - First High Energy Laser Launch systems deployed to boost cargo into LEO, Low Earth Orbit. Later designs employ a combination of magnetic acceleration and laser launch to boost crewed modules into orbit.
80s-110s AT - Fragmentary records of Static Music craze sometime in this time period.
86 - First broadcasting of The Planet X epic-comedy-drama saga featuring the popular fictional character Morag the Moravec.
87 - First commercial fusion reactor (a D-T inertial confinement design) comes online in France, supplying 300MW of power to the European grid. In the following years, other commercial reactors are developed and built in a number of nations, marking the start of a global transition to a fusion-based economy.
87 - Records of a brief fad for polypedal pots, robotic houseplant containers.
88 - Automated expedition sent to Mars on low energy transit to deliver a mag-beam system to planetary orbit to service the second Mars expedition.
89 - A coalition of several major corporations and investors launches an automated probe to intercept a small near-Earth orbiting asteroid, mine it, and return the results to Lunar orbit. Built as a proof-of-concept mission, the probe returns 100kg of asteroid material where it is picked up and delivered to labs in geosynchronous orbit.
90 AT (2058-2059 CE) 90 - First (nominally) human-equivalent artificial intelligence (AI) developed on distributed supercomputer clusters. For a while classification as human-equivalent is doubtful as the AI is quite toposophically different to baseline humans, a fact which hinders effective communication. However, the AI keeps passing most forms of the Turing Test administered to em and shows remarkable capabilities in some areas. This eventually convinces researchers of eir human-equivalent capabilities, and sparks great interest in the further development of a new type of intelligence: the turing-grade (or turingrade) AI.
90s - Origin of Cosmism, an AI-worshipping pantheistic religion.
90s - First recorded cases of ultra-rich individuals and corporations attempting to develop space-based installations with the explicit purpose of seeking independence from Earth-based nations and their regulatory bodies. These are apparently intended to be used as tax heavens or as sites of clandestine scientific and technological research.
91 - First Lunar settlement, a resort named Aldrin, consisting of a small cluster of habitat modules. Operations using telenauts, eventually including some operated entirely by AIs back on Earth, as well as purely robotic labor, are used to serve the guests and later, to extract resources.
91 - First orbital bolo satellite deployed to boost cargo and passengers from Low Earth Orbit to Geo-synchronous Orbit. Lost orbital momentum is made up using an electrodynamic tether system.
91 - The Very Large Interstellar Observation Array (a series of linked orbital LEO, optical telescopes) confirms the existence of a world resembling Archean Earth, Tau Ceti g.
92 - Agriculture is so heavily automated that in many wealthy countries, less than 0.1% of the population are employed in the industry.
94 - Primitive Direct Neural Interfacing cranial nerve implants become commercially available. Costs are high for both the interface and the surgical implantation and removal. In addition, these models are later shown to have a relatively high probability of causing a number of undesirable side effects, including then untreatable neurodegenerative disease after years of use. Nevertheless, for those that can afford it, these early DNIs offer a mild boost to personal capability and open up access to new forms of entertainment from early virchworlds developed for users of the technology.
94 - Second Mars expedition, this time using magbeam boosting systems to reduce trip time to 90 days each direction. A crew of 50 makes the journey to the red planet. The first Mars base is established, with 10 members of the expedition staying behind to begin exploration and research until the next transport vessel arrives to relieve them and rotate in the next crew of 25 explorers.
95 - First GEO bolo satellite deployed to both catch incoming modules from the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) bolos and to launch payloads toward the Moon and beyond.
98 - First mass driver built on the Moon. Used as a proof-of-concept of the technology and to launch both raw materials and eventually finished goods to several locations in the Earth-Moon volume as the drive to make space development self-sustaining continues.
99 - A method of cheaply mass-producing woven carbon nanotubes in free-fall conditions is invented. The resulting lines, tapes, and cables can be produced in lengths limited only by the tensile strength of the material itself.
Early second century AT - Ruth Duorkin demonstrates the most sophisticated mobile life support systems yet seen; is remembered by later generations as a pioneering cyborg.
102 - After twelve years of exhaustive experimentation with AI and human intelligence augmentation the first AI with superior intelligence in all areas is created and quickly dubs itself a 'superturing'. Temporarily fears of AI are heightened, but after the nascent superturings are shown to not think in radically different ways from humans, as well as the increase in technological development from superturing holding institutes, these fears abate.
104 - First healthy baby born from artificial womb. Much cultural and political debate ensues as to when, if ever, this technology should be used.
104 - Smartswarm, a variant of synsects with destructive capabilities, is an early non-replicating form of military swarmtech. Military robots have now replaced 90% of soldiers worldwide.
105 - Further developments in DNI technologies improves safety and reduces the implantation and manufacturing costs. Upper middle-class individuals are beginning to be able to afford the costs of a DNI implant. The first mass-market DNI system is believed to be the "Gibson Neural Jack" (named after the cyberpunk writer), made by Biotronics Incorporated in conjunction with the VR-entertainment corporation Inscape. Over the following years, other corporations follow suit with competing models (the Hacker, the InterFase, etc.) and corporate competition pushes for further refinement and popularization of the technology.
106 - Project Thistledown uses the magbeam system on Luna to launch long duration probes to Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn. Using a combination of hybrid magnetic-solar sails and onboard fuel to maneuver and decelerate, the probes deploy a variety of orbiters, landers, and balloon-based flyers on arrival. While the exact mix of secondary craft varies with the destination, a common chassis is used for all probes. The various landers and flyers have limited lifetimes generally ranging from 3-5 years. However, the main orbiting platforms have operational lifetimes of 20 years or more and provide an ongoing observational capability for much of the solar system.
106 - First recorded backup of a Packrat Spore exoself.
108 - Small but increasing scientific, government, and private enterprise presence on Luna and in orbit. Nevertheless anything beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) space travel is still too expensive for anyone except governments, a few corporations, and joyrides for wealthy private individuals. Buckyfiber-driven space rush opens up space to private investment.
110 AT (2078-2079 CE) 110 - Heaven habitat constructed in geo-synchronous orbit by an international coalition of nations and businesses, assisted by telenaut technology. Used as a combination hotel, resort, research complex and light manufacturing facility as it develops over time. Becomes effectively the first extra-terrestrial colony with permanent inhabitants, with a population of 500.
110 - Chinese Gobi colonisation project begins with the dual aim of transforming the desert into habitable land and developing a model for self-sustaining high-tech extraterrestrial colonies. The project continues for many decades and in combination with international sister projects in the Antarctic, Atacama and Pacific spearheads CELSS technology and colonial economic management.
111 - Automated mining of half a dozen Near-Earth asteroids begins delivering commercial quantities of material to the Earth-Luna volume. Most is used in space-based manufacture, but some particularly valuable rare-Earth elements are shipped back to Earth-surface for various applications.
112 - Recorded completion date of the Burning Library Project.
114 - Human intelligence augmentation shareware becomes available, principally memory and concentration boosters. Initially dangerous to mental health, the establishment of reputable regulation bodies and strict testing protocols fosters greater safety and consumer confidence. While costs of DNI installation have fallen, they remain prohibitive for many, prompting fears of a wealth-induced intelligence gap. A few governments and businesses look to subsidise installation for their citizens and consumers.
117 - Establishment of Artemis, a settlement on Luna, designed for a population of 200. Primarily consists of researchers and workers performing tasks considered too delicate or real-time dependent to use telepresence technology operating from Earth. Much of the population's work consists of supervising robots or operating telepresence tech distributed across the Lunar surface. The remainder of the population consists of support personnel of various sorts.
118 - As AI becomes more widespread, reactionary elements in the general public like the Kaczynskites and the Friends of Ludd become increasingly alarmed at the rise of artificial intelligence and see it as a danger to humanity.
119 - An internet based virtual conflict centered on North America which shifts a number of assets and influence from previous geopolitical and corporate powers to new players.
120s AT - The increasing population of Earth (which has now reached 10 billion) and the decrease in easily exploitable resources and human-induced climate change leads to famines, epidemics and many small-scale conflicts. Numerous environmental mitigation projects are underway, many of which have conflicting objectives.
125 - The international Near Earth Object detection and control program is successful in collecting several small Earth-approaching objects; those which are easily diverted into Earth Orbit are used in the construction and extension of orbital habitats, manufacturing facilities, and hotels.
126 - The Deep Space Skymining corporation, a commercial asteroid and space junk interception concern, lobbies for a space elevator to be built.
129 - First crewed fusion drive spacecraft using a D-T z-pinch design. Transit times to Mars are greatly reduced, and expeditions to the Outer System begin to be discussed as .01g brachistochrone (continuous boost) flight profiles become possible. However, the majority of traffic, and especially cargo, continues to use mag-beam propulsion.
The Interplanetary Age
- Academion - Text by ProxCenBound
Social movement and associated artificial island city-state on pre-Expulsion Earth.
- Antarctica (Antarctic Free States) - Text by Stephen Inniss, Ryan B (Rynn), Centauri5921, Kirran Lochhead Strang
Old Earth's southernmost continent.
- Aquarius - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Information Age aquatic arcology prototype developed by The First Millennial Foundation as part of their goals to increase the living standards of humans on Earth and in space. It was an authentic arcology because of its dense structure and self sufficiency. Although only a prototype, and never having more than 10,000 inhabitants, even at its height, it served as the exemplar for other, more successful designs until well into the Interplanetary Age.
- Artemis - Text by Alex Mulvey
The first international Lunar colony.
- Aryan Morningstar League - Text by Ben Higginbottom
Late Information Age eugenics organisation - later clade.
- Atlantis (artificial island) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Economic / Academic / Cultural Free Zone and independent polity built on an artificial island off the Caribbean, tax and datahaven during the middle and late Information and early Interplanetary Age, Old Earth.
- Australia - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
An island continent between the Indian and Pacific Oceans on Old Earth. It is the smallest on Old Earth, with an area of 8,560,000 square kilometres, and it was not well suited to long term agricultural uses, so it did not contain any major civilizations or polities until the Industrial Age. After several centuries of sustained immigration, Australia became a prosperous nation, and was an important power on Earth during much of the Interplanetary Age.
- Bhutan - Text by Mike Miller
Nation-state of Old Earth.
- Biotech - the Early Years - Text by Martin Andreas Cieslik, M. Alan Kazlev and Andrew P.
The history of biotech during the Information Age.
- Brazil - Text by Rakuen07
Major polity on pre-Expulsion Earth.
- Burning Library Project, The - Text by Stephen Inniss
Information Age project to rescue as much information as possible regarding species that were being driven to extinction as a result of human activity.
- California - Text by ProxCenBound
Pre-Expulsion Earth polity, with a history of welcoming the then-radical technologies and types of sophonts being developed at the time.
- Carapace Armor - Text by Todd Drashner and 'Total Annihilation'
Middle Information Age to early Interplanetary Age light combat armor consisting of layers of synthetic chitin and diamondoid plating over an underlayer of kevlar and arachnoweave.
- Chile - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
Former nation-state in South America, Old Earth.
- China - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
A major Old Earth civilization for some five thousand years, China eventually became the most populated country on the planet, with the largest ethnicity and two widespread spoken languages - Mandarin (the language of the dynastic rulers from the north of the country) and Cantonese (the language of the ethnic Han majority). Many human inhabitants of the Terragen Sphere claim Chinese ancestry.
- Climate Change on Old Earth - Text by Todd Drashner
The climate change crisis on Old Earth peaked during the Interplanetary period with a two meter rise in sea-levels.
- Corporate Surrogacy - Text by Elliot Schutjer
In the latter half of the Information Age and even well into the early Interplanetary Age, genetic engineering corporations had a problem: they had to find mothers to carry the genetically altered children they produced. Popular vids from the time tell story after story of young women from Asia (Particularly Cambodia and Thailand) being sold into corporate slavery as surrogate mothers for the gengineered children arranged by major corporations, though this practice was simply not as prevalent as popular imagination supposed.
- English - Text by Stephen Inniss
An Old Earth language, named for the offshore island of Europe where it originated, that became widespread during the late Agricultural Age, achieved worldwide distribution in the Industrial Age, and grew in usage through the Information Age. Ancestor of various forms of Anglish, and the Anglic language group, as well as to hybrid languages like Chinglish and Anrabic. Like many ancient languages it experiences occasional revivals by retro-abo or neo-whorfian groups.
- Ethiopia - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
Old Earth pre-Technocalypse polity in Africa.
- Extropia - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
 Interlinked Information to First Federation age evolving communities embodying extropian values. Included both virtual cultural communities and actual communities in several orbital free zones.
 Belt habitat of Extropist sect, Interplanetary Age to Solsys Golden Age.
- Extropism (philosophy) - Text by Anders Sandberg
Information Age transhumanist memeticity, founded by Max More and based the Extropian Principles. A heavily modified form was later adopted by and incorporated into the Negentropy Alliance. A derived religion, now extinct, was known during the Interplanetary Age.
- Extropolis - Text by Anders Sandberg
Extropian community located in Cislunar orbit, late Information to Interplanetary period.
- Ferjik, Ken - Text by Anders Sandberg
Historian, artist and game designer, 75-166 AT. Regarded as the father of true virtual universities.
- Fossil Fuel - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Naturally-occurring, energy-rich carbon-based substance, such as shale, petroleum, coal, or natural gas, in a Gaian Type world's crust that was formed from ancient organic material. During the Industrial, Atomic, and early Information ages on Old Earth fossil fuels were burned in a criminally negligent manner, resulting in drastic climate change and ecological crisis that was only repaired during the late Interplanetary Age.
- Great Dying - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Name given to the human-caused mass-extinction of a large proportion of baseline life and biodiversity on Old Earth; one of the six great extinction events on Earth (the others being the end Ordovician, Late Devonian, end Permian, end Triassic, and end Cretaceous). Only the end-Permian extinction is considered worse in estimated number of species and groups of organisms that died out.
- Human Potential Movement - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Information Age to Interplanetary Age umbrella movement for a number of genuine and bogus therapeutic techniques. These involved both individual and group practices and used psychoanalytical, mental, meditation, and/or physical techniques to help individuals develop emotionally and advance spiritually. By the close of the Interplanetary Age the original intention was long lost and in many cases the older movements had been replaced by a various factionalisted cults, some harmless and some otherwise. (See also the classical New Age movement.)
- Identicard - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; based on original by Kevin Self
Identification and data storage device widely used during the Information Age.
- Internet War, The - Text by Anders Sandberg
Late Information Age (2089 c.e.) virtual world war. A war of sabotage, misinformation and denial of service centered on North American interests on the net, likely launched by unknown competitors or corporations.
- Internet, The - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Old Earth Information Age data-network enabling exchange of information through data packages transmitted through computers linked by telephone and communication satellites, using a common shared protocol. The Internet eventually became a part of the IPN, which in term was later expanded to become the Interstellar Net and finally the Known Net.
- Japan - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Island nation in East Asia on Old Earth.
- Legend: Time Travel - Text by Michael Boncher
Over the eons, many have claimed that travelling backward in time is possible.
- Lyonesse - Text by ProxCenBound, expanding an original by Steve Bowers
An artificial island in the English Channel between mainland Europe and Britain on pre-Expulsion Earth, serving as the capital of the European Federation. A centre for research into artificial intelligence and measures against anthropogenic global warming.
- New Age Movement, Classical - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Old Earth Information Age eclectic religion/movement incorporating elements from contemporary mysticism, theosophy, alternative lifestyle, pop-guru movements, and pseudo-science, that developed as backlash against logic and science. Gave rise to a number of "new religions" while itself continuing under the "nuage" umbrella.
- Oceania - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Middle Information Age through Solsys Golden Age Old Earth floating city-state, data haven, and free zone.
- Pakistan - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
Old Earth polity of the Industrial-Golden Ages, originally a colony of Great Britain, but after independence gradually becoming a major power in its own right.
- Scanning Probe Microscope - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
An atomic and information age microscope-manipulator that allowed researchers to see individual atoms and molecules. The device was fitted with a fine point that allowed it to push atoms or molecules around on a surface. A precursor to nanotech.
- Smoking Associations - Text by Anders Sandberg
Social networks centered on tobacco use that reached notoriety in the early 2nd century AT (late 2000's c.e.).
- Tablet - Text by Todd Drashner
Standard late Information and early Interplanetary Age baseline-friendly microtech communications, text, and Net interface device.
- Tipler, Frank - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Information Age Christian Transhumanist; founder of Omega Point Theory.
- Ubiquitous Computing - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhuman Terminology
Also known as "embodied virtuality". Information and early Interplanetary Age Old Earth. Computers that are an integral, invisible part of people's lives. In some ways the opposite of virtual reality, in which the user is absorbed into the computational world. With ubiquitous computing, computers take into account the human world rather than requiring humans to enter into the computer's methods of working. Ubiquitous computing evolved into the micro-, meso- and micro/meso/nanon based interactivity of the middle Interplanetary Age and later.
- United Kingdom (Britain) - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, often known as Britain; a nation state of Old Earth.
- United Nations (Earth) - Text by MacGregor
A large and important intergovernmental organization on Old Earth, composed of nearly all sovereign nation-states then existing, at one point reaching over 200 members.
- United States of America - Text by ProxCenBound
Pre-Expulsion Earth-based superpower, responsible for the first landing on Luna and for creating the Internet. Though its relative importance declined as other powers rose, it continued to be influential in Solsys up until the Great Expulsion, and its cultural influences last down to this day.
- Varchan Yaldack - Text by James Rogers
Interplanetary Age hoax time traveller.
- Waverider - Text by Steve Bowers
Hypersonic SSTO shuttle craft
- Web, World Wide Web, WWW - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Old Earth Information age distributed communications network allowing individuals and organizations around the world to communicate with one another, by sharing of text, images, sounds, video, software, and other forms of information. The Information Age is generally defined as beginning with the first Web network (2nd decade a.t.)
- West, The - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
A dominant and ubiquitous aspect of Old Earth Terragen culture, especially in the Industrial and Information ages, named for its origins in Western Eurasia.
- World-disk Software - Text by Ernst Stavro Blofeld
London (Old Earth) -based, Information Age corporation; World-disk Software was one of the first companies to introduce neural-networked file system compression.