from the world's big
7 Types of Advanced Cosmic Civilizations
The Kardashev Scale measures the advancement of cosmic societies.
As we go about our daily lives, it helps to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. We are living in what seems like an advanced civilization, but let’s not kid ourselves - we are still technological infants.
In 1963, the Russian astrophysicist Nikolai S. Kardashev came up with a hypothetical way to understand just where exactly we fit in. He created what’s come to be known as the Kardashev Scale, a method of measuring how advanced a civilization’s technological achievements are based on the amount of energy it can harness.
As he outlined it in his influential paper “Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations”, an advanced (probably alien) civilization would have the capacity to transmit radio signals far into the cosmos. Kardashev initially came up with 3 types of civilizations, a scale that has since been expanded in a variety of ways by others, focusing not only on communication technology but additional factors.
A Type 1 civilization (also known as the planetary civilization) has the capacity to harness all the energy of its home planet, utilizing all the energy that reaches the planet (like solar) and all the energy it can produce (thermal, hydro, wind, etc). Kardashev described it as having “technological level close to the level presently attained on the Earth”.
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Physicist Michio Kaku thinks a planetary civilization should be able to control such things as earthquakes, the weather and volcanoes and would be building ocean cities. If that’s the case, we are not quite there yet. Kaku thinks it’ll take another 100-200 or so years for us to get to Type 1 status. Carl Sagan thought we are currently at about 0.7 of the way to type 1.
Once we get to Type 1, what’s next? We are likely to leave Earth, looking to draw energy from other planets. If we can become an interplanetary civilization that can make use of the total energy potential of a star, we’d become a type 2 civilization.
One way to harness the energy of a star is to build a megastructure around called the Dyson Sphere. It would completely enclose a star and capture all of its energy, then be able to transfer the energy for use by the home planet. Of course, this kind of contraption would dwarf the Death Star of the Star Wars universe, requiring amazing technology to build, and could take different forms. The initial idea by the physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson in 1960 was that such a structure would cover an area 600 million times greater than the surface area of the Earth.
Understandably, the Dyson Sphere has become a staple in the search for extraterrestrial life. If you can spot a Dyson Sphere out in space, aliens should be not far behind.
How close are we to becoming the type 2 megastructure builders? It's a big jump in capabilities and would probably take 1000-2000 years to reach.
Source - NASA
A type 3 civilization is of another order of evolution altogether, probably taking 100,000 years or longer to get there. Kardashev saw it as “a civilization in possession of energy on the scale of its own galaxy”. Yep, you have to get a whole galaxy’s worth of energy to get this advanced. Humans would probably be long since gone by that point, becoming some kind of post-biological cybernetic beings.
We are talking about a world where robots build Dyson Spheres at will all over the galaxy, utilizing some yet-inconceivable space propulsion technology to move around. Perhaps, such a civilization would also be able to get energy from black holes or create energy-producing stars at will.
Source - NASA
What’s next after such an advancement? Kardashev didn’t see a need to hypothesize any further civilizations, but prognosticators since then have proposed that a type 4 world would be able to harness the energy of an entire universe, while a type 5 can do the same in a multiverse, drawing power from multiple universes.
What about type 6? We are talking god stuff here, controlling time and space, creating universes at will. Type 7? We can’t even imagine and understand what that could be like.
Here’s a comic strip from Futurism that gives a fun rundown of the civilization types:
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
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