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Understanding the Kardashev Scale

The Kardashev scale measures a civilization’s level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy they are able to use.

It answers the question: at what scale does a civilization operate?

Several order-of-magnitude leaps are required to rise up the scale.

  • Type I civilizations (Planetary civilization) use and store all of the energy available on its planet.
  • Type II civilizations (Stellar civilization) use and control energy at the scale of its stellar system.
  • Type III civilizations (Galactic civilization) control energy at the scale of its entire host galaxy.

Growth Requirements

Humanity is growing technologically at the fastest in recorded history. AI, Quantum Computing, 3D Printing, Antonymous Vehicles, Self-replicating Nanotechnologies, Genetic Manipulation, and countless other fields are increasing in their rate of discovery. The world will be radically different by 2040, particularly in comparison to how 2020 seems to the year 2000.

And still, humanity is squarely a Type 0 Civilization.

We are nowhere near the technological, let alone spiritual/psychological development required to reach Type 1.

At our current pace of growth (~3% increase in annual energy consumption), we could reach Type I status within ~100-200 years.

Our destructive and malicious world leaders will thwart us before we get there.

The energy requirements are easier to define. We just need to continue that linear increase for a long time, or create technologies that accelerate the rate of growth to get there sooner.

However, humanity isn’t ready for that kind of shift. Not yet.

Many millions of us are. Elon Musk is excited to reach Mars. The space race will rekindle this decade into something exciting to watch. However, as long as humans are willing to acquiesce their liberties in exchange for security, broader humanity won’t join the elites in Type I achievement.

We’ll have a “hunger games” civilization instead if we don’t wake up and realize that’s what’s happening.

COVID-19 is causing an unprecedented quashing of human liberty at a global scale. 3,500,000,000+ people have surrendered to the will of their government, and the global economy will be in shambles this year.

Every time there’s a panic, governments make a 10-yard gain of totalitarian control and surveillance implementation. When the panic recedes, they give 1 yard back.

What does that have to do with the Kardashev Scale?

Technological and energy requirements are the easiest to meet. Humanity will surpass Type 1 technology very quickly. The rate of growth of technology is increasing. We could do it in our lifetimes.

Psychological and spiritual development must keep pace with technological development, at a global scale, for us to uplift humanity and create a stellar civilization.

We are taking the wrong steps. We are submitting to fear instead of finding solutions to the global pandemic. We are shutting down our economies, ensuring mass death from violence instead of the virus.

Hundreds of millions of people globally will be unemployed for an indefinite period of time.

Why didn’t we focus on cocooning our elderly and immuno-compromised while this thing washed over the world, providing them a safe-haven to ride out the storm, all while keeping the global economy online?


How do we move past fear?

Embrace reality, look at it objectively, and make tough but necessary decisions.

We’ve got to turn the lights back on.

If we don’t, the pandemic will be a blip on the radar of the ensuing chaos.