An economic boom in Offworld and Deep-Ocean colonies fuels migration and makes Pacifica the centre of free scientific thought and illegal experimentation. High Orbit colonies remain rather politicised aristocratic enclaves.

Vatican now advises US and European governments on internal policy matters such as religion in schools.

Left-wing protests in major US cities against GCC Population Freedom (read birth control) Acts, which impose mandatory genetic selection on all couples. People with genetic defects or a high probability of giving birth to disease-prone children are 'encouraged' to have only one child. Tax structures effectively prohibit these misfortunate people from having any children at all, while the very wealthy are effectively exempt. Nevertheless, public fear of the New Mutation allows the Acts to be passed.

First Artificial Intelligence, [A]dam, is born at the MIT Media Lab; it immediately runs amok and eats the entire lab network before it is destroyed. Shortly thereafter, the process is repeated in Chongqing by the South China Intelligence Group, and worried politicians in Protocol quickly pass the Geneva Artificial Intelligence Controls. GAICA becomes a subsidiary of the Medical Collegium and enforces regulation on what are now called Great Minds.

Government surveillance across the globe is at an all-time high; thousands of microsatellites (eyesats) and smartcams monitor and analyze every aspect of daily life, while the Net channels most of human activity.

The global population approaches 8 billion.

Consumer buying associations pool their resources to demand low prices for their customers/citizens. The new trend for Purchase Groups begins to seriously distort the global Purchase Networks so integral to the New Economics.

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