First off, what are "guns" like in the Net Gain setting?
Guns are a lot like what we have now. By the time Net Gain rolls around we won't have publicly available "pew pew" laser guns or blasters, but devices like MetalStorm and caseless, electronically fired weapons will be more prominent. For exotic weapons, plastic pistols and chemical rounds (fired from M203 or similar launcher) will be available, as well as larger vehicle mounted "microwave guns" for crowd control. Gun attachments may include millimeter scanners and infrared sights, or cameras linked to plug systems (for remote aiming and even firing). Think Splinter Cell meets Shadowrun, if that helps narrow it down.
Secondly, what does the average city look like?
"Average" is tough to call of course, but let's talk about a city like Boston (since I live there now). Boston by 2043 won't have changed too much geographically. Multi-tier and floating cities are probably a little further down the line...but the first floating settlements/compounds do exist (just not on a MACRO scale. Think private island.) More cables, more satellite dishes and antennae will dot the skyline. More skyscrapers and high rise apartments for sure. The very first flying fleet vehicles are starting to come into use (VTOL ambulances and auto-couriers). Solar panels and alternative energy/green thinking will pop up in the richer areas in attempts to promote greener construction and self-reliance as resources become scarcer and scarcer. So to answer your question the average city is a lot like today's cities, just taller and more connected.
And how do people get around? Vehicles that automatically drive themselves, with public transportation, filled with maglev trains and elevators built to hold dozens of people?
Internal combustion cars still exists, though gas is VERY close if not over 10/gallon. Synthetic fuels will help mitigate that cost. But hybrid cars are BIG at this time, and the fully electric car is a totally feasible option for many consumers/commuters. New train systems will be maglev, and the old train lines will either be upgraded with better cars, or still run the "tried and true" as long as they work. Auto-Drive isn't that common, with only a few designated interstates or continental highways fitted for cars that use the technology. Most people drive themselves still, as even the finest and most expensive android assistants are still technically not allowed to drive (though many brokers/higher-ups let them anyways.)
Finally, a question about the general state of technology...Have 3D printers made it big in Net Gain, and if so, how fast/big can they work?
The 3D printing boom has become much more settled by 2043. If a car is 100% 3D printed, it's still considered a novelty, as there are better made and more efficiently produced cars still rolling off traditional lines. A hardware store or repair shop may have a printer for machining custom parts or fittings for home construction or other tasks. A bakery might have a printer ready to do custom orders for cake toppers, etc. The average American household though, would likely *not* have a 3D printer at home, though they would come across and benefit from 3D printed goods on nearly a daily basis.
Have we made vehicles/objects that can fold into smaller, compact boxes once done with?
Hee hee hee...it's possible! Compact bikes and cars exist today, but it all hinges on their efficiency and practicality. Certain foundations have developed appliances for small living spaces (tiny apartments, etc), designed to maximize the usefulness of whatever space is available. But for the most part there isn't much of a miniaturization trend.
And as far as garbage disposal goes, it is at neatly packed away and recycled, or do we have huge scrapyards/slum where the exceptionally poor and destitute live?
An interesting question! Massive landfills will exist in poorer, rural areas, and they will probably encroach a little on people's living spaces. Trailer parks next to dumps, people picking through square mile after square mile of trash, it's all there. We may be shipping our garbage offshore, or shooting our nuclear waste into the sun, but the truth of human waste is one that will never absolutely vanish.
On the other hand, recycling is easy and effective! Paper, plastic and a host of other materials can all be re purposed and used again, just like today...only more future-y.
And finally, have we made it into space? I recall mention of a space elevator somewhere, but do we have colonies, or just small outposts?
Spaaaaaaace! Outer Space in Net Gain is just another sector of the workplace. The richest pharmaceutical companies have small space stations where their scientists synthesize perfect crystals for their drugs before massive, unmanned "factory" stations manufacture them. We have a permanent Moon colony, And the first skeleton crews are manning a tiny, barely there outpost on Mars. Many countries (Japan, Russia, India, China...) are participating in space flight as well, with NASA acting as more of a supervisor than a front runner. There's all kinds of disputes over lunar territory, data transmission and storage and more, as corporations realize the profits that can be made by expanding outside the Earth's atmosphere...though it's not for everyone at the moment. Civilians can visit the first tier of "space hotels", and even in some cases the moon. Transoceanic flights are now almost entirely sub-orbital making a trip from LA to Japan about 2 hours instead of 10.
GREAT questions, I hope I shined a little light on them for you! Feel free to ask anymore you'd like, and thanks for the support!
Statistics: Posted by LowCashBro — Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:18 pm