The net went down, it went down hard. People got hurt, people died.
Things are not what they appear in the Cognitive Network
The first Renaissance was kickstarted by the Crusades and trade, the second Renaissance was fueled by a looming global crisis and international cooperation
The CogNet might be policed by sentient programs and controlled by artificially intelligent super computers, but it is built on top of millions of organic memory cores that function as its host.
The vast majority of parapsychic powers do NOT manifest as freeform pyrokinesis or rotating thunder kicks.
The biggest reason that Amerikka Command survives to plague the Atlantic Federation, the only reason the ACPS hasn't destroyed the Python Pirate Syndicate, is their mastery and sharing of shroud technology.
Based off of the Rubik's Cube, the Emote Cube is a banned piece of arcanotechnology
The massive computers of the future don't always communicate with the puny humans through soft chimes and a soothing voice over the PA/intercom. Sometimes they have a special android body that serves as their own super surrogate
Clarification and details on the tiers of machine intelligence
The villages around the capital have a strange new disease cropping up. Spread by a fungus (much like ergot poisoning), it causes its victims to be very sensitive to sunlight. Hundreds of peasants are hiding from the sun, only coming out in the darkness to labor in the fields. Unfortunately, rumor makes their behavior sound more sinister and secretive than it really is.