Humans are almost Kardashev Type I civilisation

Posted: July 1, 2008 in Future
Tags: ,

From the interview that SF Signal made with Dr. Michio Kaku:

SF Signal asks: You’ve talked about the Kardashev civilization scale in other publications. Do you think humanity has a reasonable chance of becoming a full-fledged Type I society? Do you have any thoughts on what a Type III human society might look like?

Dr. Michio Kaku answers: I see evidence of our historic transition from a Type 0 civilization to a Type I civilization. For example:

  • English is rapidly emerging as the most likely candidate for a planetary language.
  • The internet is an emerging Type I telephone system.
  • The EU, NAFTA, etc. are the seeds of a planetary economy.
  • A planetary culture is gradually emerging, based on youth culture (e.g. rock and roll, rap), fashion, movies.

But there is also a backlash against this historic transition. Anything this monumental is bound to create a counter force. These are the terrorists (who instinctively dislike a planetary civilization, which is necessarily multicultural, scientific, progressive, and tolerant). Also, we have the forces of chaos and destruction, such as nuclear proliferation and designer germs.

A Type III civilization, however, might be unrecognisable from our point of view. Think of walking down a country road, and meeting an ant hill. Do we go down to the ants and say, I bring you trinkets, I bring you beads, I bring you nuclear technology, take me to your leader? No.

Maybe we might even step on a few of the ants. Now imagine a 10 lane superhighway being built next to the ant hill. Would the ants even know what a 10 lane superhighway was? Could they communicate with the workers, or know their intentions? The greatest danger faced by the ants is not that the workers are going to conquer them, as in science fiction stories. The greatest danger is that they will pave us over and not even know it.

An encounter with a Type III civilization, I feel, with have nothing to do with the movies. First, they will not send Capt. Kirk and the Enterprise, since that is a mathematical waste of time, since there are 100 billion stars just in our galaxy. They will send self-replicating robot probes that can proliferate by the trillions by themselves. And, if we ever meet them personally, we might find that they have modified their biological bodies, both genetically and mechanically, in ways that we can barely understand, making them immortal and with superpowers. Remember, their energy source is about 10 billion x 10 billion times greater than ours. The distance between ants and us is very small compared to the distance between Type 0 and Type III.

This was a really interesting this to read, not only because I like Dr. Michio but also that it made you think.

And thinking is always good.

Read the whole interview here.

WOG out.

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