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Characteristics of the 41st century


Architecture
Most buildings completely blend into the scenery because they are grown rather than built. People do not live in any particular place. Accommodation and full service is free for all. Most people like small and ascetic houses.

Artificial intelligence
Conscious AIs are based on human-like algorithms and thus consume petabits of storage. Although mentally more cabable than humans AIs in principle lack the rights of an individual. In practise many AIs have achieved very stable and influential position in their society. Humans still stay in their original bodies and do not mix with AIs although the boundary is becoming fuzzier as the U2s evolve.

Clothing
With or without, hardly anything will draw special attention. Most people consider clothing as a non-issue and use standard NTware for other than special occassions. An unusually impractical way to dress is a sign of an enthusiast. Should it happen to you, be prepared to give some philosophical insights on clothing and life in general.

Crime
"Crime" is a concept that the 41st century people do not recognize. Objects only have personal value and because they can be easily copied nobody gets any benefit by stealing. Collisions in interpersonal relationships happen because of shortcomings in the psychological health care. In no case anybody is considered "guilty" quite like one is not guilty for catching a flu. Some groups have their own set of legislation, usually of irrational origin, but since the groups consist of individuals that all agree on the common rules, it is not a problem either.

Drugs
For most situations the U2 stimulation of the pleasure center is enough. Otherwise different kinds of non-addictive non-toxic moodifiers are freely available, although overuse will lead to offering of special psychtraining session which one is, of course, free to ignore. STG type brainboosters called "bolts" are popular among the young people.

Eating
See clothing. Although eating of actual organic tissue is not prohibited but in some religious offworld colonies, most individuals consider it revolting to eat something that has lived, mainly because it would probably contain lots of micro-organisms.

Education
A basic level is in principle(* mandatory although it differs completely from what children of other times have to learn. No normal individual can him/herself read or write and has a very poor performance in doing numerical calculations. This is, however, possible by the aid of one's U2, should the skill for some reason be necessary.

(* Refusal is completely acceptable behaviour but it is in everybody's own interest to learn some basic skills. Furthermore, most of the learning happens as an indistinguishable part of other normal activity and is supposed to be fun.

Health
The physical health care has reached virtual perfection in the sense that the human body is completely under control. Everybody is sequenced immediately after fertilization and the data are used to choose suitable living habits and partners for reproduction. An active tailoring of human genes is still strongly not recommended on Earth and many other worlds. Others are forced to do so when adapting to hostile environments. Although a limitless artificial lenghtening of life is in principle possible, it is seldom applied to anybody over 120 years. The recommendations differ from world to world. The main area of research has moved to psychology. See also reference groups.

Nanotechnology
(NTs) Molecular-size machines that are capable of reproducing. They form the basement of the well-being of the time. They build machines that make whatever is needed. See also AI and U2.

Reference Groups
As a part of the psychological care every individual has his/her own reference group which resembles an ancient "family" organization but is more flexible and optimized. Everybody is, of course, free to stay out of contact with the group but since the profiling is done carefully, it is very unlikely that the person is happier that way. The size of a group is something between 2 and 20 adults although bigger groups exist where a continuum arrangement works best. Some individuals change their reference group many times during their life but usually the dynamics of the group allow life-long relationships.

Religion
Besides traditional religions the same category includes other dogmatic movements like politics. The overall tone is very tolerant since the upraising of children and living standards effectively prevent destructive memes from spreading. More strict movements exist where harsh conditions favour that kind of activity.

Reproduction
While sexual intercourse is one of the most popular hobbies and large majority takes chances instead of determining their offspring, children are usually generated and raised inside reference groups. Lately there has been a trend of women actually giving birth to their children as a part of more "natural" lifestyle.

U2
The Utility Unit is the artificial extension of one's brain capacity and accustomes with time to best suit the carrier's needs. It is usually weared behind the ear and serves decorative purposes as well. The colorization of the unit usually tells the personality categorization of the carrier, thus making it easier to interact with less familiar persons.

Warfare
It is hard to imagine what concrete advantages could be achieved through global warfare at the 41st century. Furthermore, there are no natural boundaries to divide people into "us" and "them" unless when taking into account the different worlds. An interstellar war is, however, not feasible with current technology. This all does not mean that wars do not exist, just that the reasons and also means are different than in the past. Wargames are played at places reserved for this purpose where anybody can give some time to basic instincts. Weapons are usually harmless or victim-friendly but on special permission persons can play up to death if they wish so.

Work
"Work" is a word that has very bad taste in the mouth. Nobody does any work and an insinuation of the opposite is a great way to insult your companion. To outsiders many 41st century people seem to do quite regular work but it is a matter of definition. If "work" is considered something that must be done to earn one's living then it is as bad as slavery. If, however, one does not get any direct profit out of the action pure fun notwithstanding, it is a hobby and completely normal. Never try to make somebody do something by indicating that s/he must do so.



Teemu Mäkinen (teemu.makinen@fmi.fi)