Amen. And Happy New Year, everyone.
I'm not going to get into my personal life--things are actually going well now for me generally speaking, far better than in 2000, but that's not the topic here.
I'm only a couple years younger than you, Gryphon, and I've felt much the same way. They say that youth is wasted on the young, and it wasn't until I hit my mid-30's that I really understood how little I was even -trying- to understand how the world really works. Now I'm older, wiser, and reflecting that 1000 years ago I'd be on my deathbed now, barely able to share that hard-earned wisdom with anyone. Instead I'm in a good IT job, training people half my age, and it feels good.
Mind you, even in the 90's I looked at Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun (originally set in 2050) and realized that the latter might not and the former definitely would not reflect what technology is really like in that year. A lot of the gritty realism of any cyberpunk genre piece is about how no matter how cool the technology is, human nature (particularly, corruption and greed) is still what drives the story. That general principle is just as true for virtually any sci fi anime.
That said, we may have a unique opportunity upcoming. I don't know how old Mike Pondsmith was when he invented Cyberpunk 2020, but he's deeply involved in the new CD Projekt Red Cyberpunk 2077 game. Since he's seen that same sort of change, I'm interested to see if that sort of insight translates to the new setting. (Of course, in game technology still reached unreasonable heights in 2020, so if the rate of change didn't slow down, the point may be moot.)
Authors of our fates
Orchestrate our fall from grace
Poorest players on the stage
Our defiance drives us straight to the edge