Friday, March 28, 2014

Redefining Our Purpose as Civilization Keeps Evolving

Think Type 1 Civilization

Let's take a quick stroll through history. Civilizations have generally advanced when radically new ways of communicating and sharing ideas have emerged. One of the first major advances occurred when mankind learned to speak. People started to gather togther and socialize around the campfire. Tribes began to emerge and form. Civilization on Earth was born.

This was followed many centuries later by the next major advancement, the creation of the written word. This in turn led to the start of commerce and the creation of the first nation-states, e.g. Egypt, Greece, China. Over the next many centuries, ships and roads allowed commerce to spread and written ideas to be communicated and shared with others across great distances. Civilization continued to slowly but steadily advance.

Jump forward a thousand years through the Dark Ages to the 1400's and the invention of the printing press. Knowledge and ideas were able to be shared on a much wider scale than ever before. The Bible and many other great works were suddenly available to more than just the select few. The pace of innovation and change around the world began to slowly pick up speed. Kingdoms started falling and the Protestant Reformation radically disrupted civilization and the status quo.

Then came the 1800's and the invention of the steam engine and the telegraph. Steamboats and steam powered trains allowed ideas, information, and goods to be shared faster. The telegraph allowed communication to really speed up. These inventions set the stage for the transition from the Agricultural Age to the Industrial Age of the 20th century.

The first half of the 1900's saw the invention and mass production of cars, airplanes, electricity, telephones, the radio, and television. The pace of innovation accelerated and all aspects of our civilization were disrupted as new ideas, inventions, information and knowledge were shared as never before. The stage was set for the transition into the Information Age of the 21st century and globalization.

Computers, digital telecommunications, software, fiber optics, satellites, robotics, the Internet, nanotechnology and so much more are all contributing to the quantum leap forward we are now in the process of taking together, sharing information and knowledge on a global scale. Innovation and the rate of change continues to increase with each passing day.

Today, someone can come up with a new idea, share it with millions on the Internet, and see the idea rapidly transformed into action and reality within days or weeks. Something that took decades if not centuries to ocurr can now happen almost overnight. Talk about a dramatic change of pace! But you ain't seen nothing yet. 

Are we prepared for where this is taking us all? Probably not. Are we ready for the death of nation states? For every human having the ability to access all the world's knowlege? Having the capability to replace body organs and living for many hundreds of years, tapping into unlimited sources of energy, colonizing other planets in our solar system, and...

We are on the threshold of moving from a Type 0 civilization to a Type I civilization. (see http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale  )
A Type 0 civilization extracts its energy, information, raw-materials from crude organic-based sources (i.e. food/wood/fossil fuel/books/oral tradition); pressures via natural disaster, natural selection, and societal collapse creates extreme risk of extinction; it's capable of orbital spaceflight; societies that fail to improve social, environmental and medical understanding concurrently with other advancements, frequently accelerated their own extinction.
A Type I civilization extracts its energy, information, and raw-materials from fusion power, hydrogen, and other "high-density" renewable-resources; is capable of interplanetary spaceflight, interplanetary communication, megascale engineering, and interplanetary colonization, medical and technological singularity, planetary engineering, world government and trade, and stellar system-scale influence; but are still vulnerable to possible extinction
A Type II civilization extracts fusion energy, information, and raw-materials from multiple solar systems; it is capable of evolutionary intervention, interstellar travel, interstellar communication, stellar engineering, and star cluster-scale influence; the resulting proliferation and diversification would theoretically negate the probability of extinction.
A Type III civilization extracts fusion energy, information, and raw-materials from all possible star-clusters; it's capable of intergalactic travel via wormholes and intergalactic communication, galactic engineering and galaxy-scale influence.
A Type IV civilization extracts energy, information, and raw-materials from all possible galaxies; it's effectively immortal and omnipotent with universal-scale influence, possessing the ability of theoretical time travel and instantaneous matter-energy transformation and teleportation, moving entire asteroid belts and stars, creating alternate timelines, ...
We are facing the need to revisit and redefine our purpose as humans and the world we live in as we continue to transition into a more advanced Type 1 civilization during the remainder of the 21st century.

What are some of the basic questions we need to be asking ourselves right now? Think about this and share your constructive ideas with us.


* Check out this video by Michio Kaku: The Birth-Pangs of a Planetary Civilization 

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