What If Humanity Was a Kardashev Civilization? | Complete List With EVERY Level | Unveiled XL
The human race has advanced significantly in the last two centuries since the Industrial Revolution, so much so that modern society would be unrecognizable to a time traveler from the past. But as intelligent and wise as we may like to believe we are, in actuality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. We might be millions of years away from even registering on a galactic scale, if we ever do at all - but does it have to be this way? This is Unveiled, and today we’re answering the extraordinary question: What if Humanity Was a Kardashev Civlization? Do you need the big questions answered? Are you constantly curious? Then why not subscribe to Unveiled for more clips like this one? And ring the bell for more thought-provoking content! It was the Soviet Astronomer Nikolai Kardashev who devised the Kardashev Scale; a way to measure a civilization’s degree of advancement. The scale breaks down that advancement by contemplating how much of the universe any given group can harness for energy - with the technology at its disposal improving as the amount of energy increases. To become Type I,
a civilization has to be able to harvest all of the available resources and energy from its home planet - so, in our case, from Earth. But the human race isn’t yet able to do this, with the cosmologist Carl Sagan once placing us at around zero-point-seven on the Kardashev Scale. Because we’ve never encountered any form of extraterrestrial life, we don’t know whether any civilizations have ever reached Type I either… but it at least gives us something to aim for! Logically, as we strive to make changes for the better, we should continue to climb through the levels… with physicist Freeman Dyson projecting that humanity could attain a Type I status in two centuries’ time; while Kardashev himself estimated that we could reach Type II - harnessing the full energy of the solar system - in just over 3,000 years. But we do still have a long way to go before enjoying the full potential of just our planet.
According to futurist Michio Kaku, right now we only harness one million-billionth of our sun’s total energy output. To reach Type I we don’t need to capture all of the sun’s power (save that for Type II), but we do need to make use of every bit of solar energy that’s available to our planet - meaning a dramatic increase on that measly million-billionth! A Type I civilization has no need for fossil fuels, because they’re a limited and unsustainable resource. Instead, it’s all about making best use of our world’s ongoing natural processes - the sunlight, the winds and the tides, for example. Were we to reach Type I, then paying for our energy should also become a thing of the past, as every human being would now have the facilities and knowledge to generate energy harmoniously from the world around them. Energy would now exist more like oxygen; a vital and life-giving constant. But energy use and access would only be one way in which a Type I human race would be united and equal. Some interpreters of the Kardashev Scale envision that we’d also have a universal language - or at least a means of communication - and a universal currency. Today we have some
languages much more widely spoken than others, but it’s the internet which many see as our biggest stride forwards. It provides instant links across the global population and even, with the so far arguably dubious advent of cryptocurrencies, seems to be ushering in an alternative to traditional money - one that’s spendable everywhere. More impressively still, a Type I group is also able to control the weather. Today, so much of what we can and can’t do is dictated to us by whatever the skies have in store… but, ascend to Type I and we’d be able to perfectly forecast the weather for weeks and months ahead; mostly because we’d be setting it. With a perfect understanding of how our planet functions, we’d have the technology to change and alter weather patterns in any location, if they didn’t suit. Say a coastline needed sunshine to attract tourists; we’d be able to disperse the clouds. But, if any region found itself threatened with drought,
we could seed those clouds so that the rains fell exactly where they were needed. Clearly, advances like these would not only improve our general levels of comfort, but could also save lives! The climate is one of our chief concerns today, with fears that we could be in the midst of a “climate crisis” where global warming gets out of hand. But, in a Type I world we’d have full control over our destiny. We’d have enough knowledge and capability
to regulate the Earth’s atmosphere back to a carbon neutral - or even carbon negative - state, where rising temperatures are reversed, and the greenhouse effect is limited to just where we need it to be. We wouldn’t be concerned about things like melting ice caps and rising sea levels, because they’d all be manageable through our own environmentally friendly technologies. In this way, we could even avoid the occurrence of entire ice ages in the future, if doing so was deemed to be a positive step for the planet. It’d be more than just climate change and weather patterns, though. We’d also have full
control of the planet’s other natural processes, including earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Fundamentally, a Type I civilization should be able to predict with pinpoint accuracy when events like these will happen, and also ensure that they inflict minimum damage and place nobody in danger. But it should also be able to take the next step, by actually using something like an earthquake, for example, for its own gain - by capturing the power of tectonic movements and redistributing it for the benefit of its people. If Earth were Type I, we could even be able to safely escape a scheduled asteroid strike, barring human error. Humanity itself would never have been more secure, being able to dodge most of what could once have destroyed life. We would still be vulnerable to
natural disasters from even further afield - like the supernova of a nearby star or an approaching black hole - but as far as “local” disasters go, we’d have mastered them all! Finally, having adapted to everything it could throw at us, as Type I we could also be capable of living on more of our planet than ever before - perhaps even with entire cities safely built atop of oceans, at no detriment to the natural world. And, seeing as we’d also be living more efficiently, it’d not only be the space available to us that would increase… As our technologies, medicines and general lifestyles all continue to improve, the average life expectancy of a human being should also rise. Today, we can already see some instances where humanity is working its way up the Kardashev Scale. For one, our planned missions to Mars and our revived interest in revisiting the moon. If we can learn how to control and utilize the atmospheric conditions of somewhere else in the solar system, then we could soon be viewing our own planet from a new, more effective and “more Type I” perspective. We’re also already witnessing advances in ocean living - with conceptual projects like the Shimizu Corporation’s “Ocean Spiral” promising to one day build underwater settlements powered primarily by resources found in the seabed! Michio Kaku has said that we are “the generations that will determine whether we make the transition from Type 0 to Type I”… but he also warns that we could “destroy ourselves because of our arrogance and weapons” before then. When it comes to making our first significant move up the Kardashev Scale,
we could now be at a crunch point in human history - on the brink of possible catastrophe, yes… but also of harnessing the full energy potential of planet Earth to accelerate our technology, better our knowledge and maximise our lives. If humanity was a Type II civilization, it would be taking all of the energy the sun produces - more than 38,000 septillion watts per second - and using it all for its own needs. Quite how a civilization would go about doing this is a mystery to modern science, but there are some ideas - the most famous of which being the Dyson Sphere. A Dyson Sphere is a structure that somehow encircles the sun and absorbs all of the energy released by it. That energy is then somehow stored with maximum efficiency, before being transferred elsewhere for use, again with maximum efficiency. At this stage, humanity will most likely have spread out all across the solar system, so splitting the untold solar power between Earth, Mars, the Asteroid Belt, the moons of Jupiter and everywhere else would be a massive undertaking. The Dyson Sphere itself, however, might also be fully habitable. At
the time of its completion, it would most likely be the most massive structure humanity had ever built until that point, and easily big enough for some humans (like the technicians trained to run it) to live actually on or in it. If that were the case, then anyone listing the Dyson Sphere as their primary address would have a unique, extremely close, and perhaps quite unsettling view of the sun. A Dyson Sphere shouldn’t represent a health risk to a Type II civilization, though. By the time humanity becomes advanced enough to build something like this, we should’ve worked out and sidestepped all the dangers involved… which means we’d have shielded ourselves from the otherwise intense radiation, and might even be able to look at the sun up close without damaging our eyes - maybe through some solar-grade windows or specialist goggles.
But, why would we ever want or need such a high level of control or such an incredible amount of energy? In some variations of the Dyson Sphere idea, it might be that this immense piece of machinery could actually serve to lengthen the lifetime of the sun, buying Earth and the solar system specifically more time before our star goes red giant. For Freeman Dyson, though, the mind behind the Sphere, it’s more simply a natural progression for any space-faring civilization. Any alien society that continues to advance and settle on other planets would need to consume greater and greater amounts of energy, until its home star becomes the only source in its planetary system which offers enough. The opportunities available to a civilization at this stage, though, would be incredible to today’s mind. Not only would we have spread out across the solar system, but we’d have likely mastered all of its many environments, too. Getting to and living on Mars would be easy; exploring the
subsurface oceans believed to exist on places like Europa and Enceladus would be a breeze; we’d be able to build working colonies on any solar system body we wanted to. Our spaceships at this point would be so much more improved as well, utilizing possible technologies such as Laser Ion engines or nuclear fusion itself, to give us infinitely faster access from Mercury to maybe even the Oort Cloud. And, not only would we have all of that, but it would also be much more difficult to kill us off. The destruction of humanity would be a lot harder to achieve.
In fact, if we were a Type II civilization, there’d be very little currently known to (or suspected by) science that could wipe us out. Asteroid impacts which we’re now unable to prevent, for example, would be easy to handle… at Type II we could disintegrate an oncoming rock, or potentially even move the Earth - or whichever planet we’re on at the time - out of its path. In general, though, for anything to threaten the whole of humanity, it would now have to threaten the whole of the solar system… so one asteroid heading for one planet wouldn’t spell the doom it does now. In a worst-case scenario, humans would just evacuate that planet before the impact happened. We wouldn’t be invincible, though. There would still be some doomsday eventualities - like the
appearance of a black hole nearby or universe-wide vacuum decay - which we’d still have no hope of outrunning. Plus, war would remain a viable threat, either between ourselves or against some other space-faring civilization. It’s thought a Type II society would still operate governments, to manage things like trade, communication or conflicts between the various planets, moons and asteroids in a star system. There could still be competition and rivalry between these worlds,
despite them all being united by the Dyson Sphere tasked to power them. And there’d still be a potentially dangerous “next frontier” to aim for and work towards; interstellar travel. According to the Kardashev Scale, the next move for a Type II civilization would be to expand into other star systems, in a bid to reach Type III. In our case, this would mean heading for Alpha Centauri, a three-star system that’s 4.3 lightyears away from us,
and colonising it in the same way as, by then, we would’ve already done with the solar system. And, from Alpha Centauri it’d be onto the next star system, as humanity spreads out across the galaxy, seemingly becoming more and more indestructible as it does so. With the fabled Type Three band set firmly in our sights, however, we’d need cultural and scientific revolution one hundred times over. And the issue of energy - locating it, storing it and transmitting it - would be at the heart of our efforts. We’d have to build systems that harvest the output of entire stars which, at the very least would require some form of reliable interstellar travel or, arguably more simply, some kind of web of interstellar connections. As our ability to reach further into the stars increases, though, so do our chances of being challenged - meaning we’d need to also be prepared to hide or protect ourselves from the possibility of other advanced groups who can do the same thing.
Of course, all of these things are much easier said than done, and actually achieving them would require us to overcome all sorts of barriers and possibly rethink the seemingly immovable facts about the fabric of the universe… the laws of thermodynamics, the laws of stable matter, and the implicit laws of planetary evolution could all slow our progress in ways we can hardly begin to anticipate. But, as our expanding pool of technological knowledge has helped us in the past, we’d still need to find answers to these problems. Perhaps our own biological shortcomings would be the first things we’d overcome - in the hope that a race that lives forever will improve forever. We’d employ new technologies to survive most natural, currently inevitable causes of death. Sickness and the ill effects of old age would surely be things of the past in an existence where we have the ability to capture and use the energy of entire stars at our leisure. With our own biology essentially updated, our population would rapidly increase day by day as we also master self-replication techniques. But, the problems of overpopulation would have long gone, seeing as we’d no longer
be confined to just Earth. In fact, we may have moved off of Earth completely. And so, as we expand into the universe fuelled by the energy potential of an entire galaxy, we’d reach the limit of what Kardashev originally thought was possible. But such inconceivable developments could never unfold without dramatic societal change, as well. To overcome political barriers and create a truly united community, we’d need to establish seamless, unshakeable social cohesion throughout our species - allowing us to progress toward our increasing goals. Even achieving intergalactic energy capture would require us all working together,
rather than trying to battle and beat each other to key discoveries, inventions or pieces of legislation. For some, those same qualities are needed to graduate beyond even Type One - with our planet currently feeling the effects of war, division and overconsumption. If we can’t band together for our own world, then could we ever truly expect to tame galaxies? Ultimately, our ascendance to Kardashev’s Level Three could require us to rewrite what it means to be human; to readjust our natural instincts, to work as one thriving, fluid, intelligent mass. Perhaps we’d slowly, organically evolve over hundreds of thousands of years, or perhaps we’d gradually mechanize ourselves to keep up. Yes, we’re talking cyborgs. At least part-robotic recreations of real-world people could give us a limitless means for storing information in the form of memories. The internet would be integrated into our very thoughts - constantly
added to by every other Type Three being - equipping us with instant knowledge on any subject. There are obvious downsides, including the prospect that our shared super-computer could get hacked by a higher power, and the probability that our individual personalities would disappear as soon as our minds are networked together to turn us into blockchain humans. But, such a shift would see us soar up Kardashev’s Scale - granting everyone access to everyone else’s thoughts, memories and ideas, to further improve our status as a civilization. With such radical changes shaping us into almost unrecognisable beings from what we are today, there’d be little incentive or need to conventionally “work” as a Type Three human. Most tasks would be automated with little-to-no human intervention required. Instead,
we’d be at liberty to continue exploring other galaxies - now that we’d mastered our own - exposing our collective consciousness to what the wider universe has to offer. We’d no longer be limited by the planet we were born on (because we could travel anywhere); the wealth we were - or weren’t - born into (because we’d all be equal); or the confines of even life expectancy (having sidestepped aging and sickness, too). And so, with so much time on our hands, we’d almost inevitably busy ourselves trying to reach Kardashev levels Four and Five - to wield universal power over everything in existence. This seemingly insatiable quest to complete Kardashev’s Scale does throw up a few existential questions… In this new world, what makes our lives worth living? How would we spend our extra time, effort and intellect? Would our primal needs for things like food, water, shelter and family still drive us in the same way? The average human’s role in a civilization that has claimed dominion over an entire galaxy would clearly be completely different to what we experience today.
But then comes Type Four, where we would be doing all those things and more. A Type Four civilization can not only harness all of the power of its home galaxy, but of the entire universe. In terms of energy potential, we’re in the big, big leagues now! But how much energy is in the universe? Actually, many physicists would argue that the total energy in the universe equals out to, well, zero. This is due to the presence of positive and negative energy throughout the cosmos, and the predicted balance between the two. No one knows the amount of positive energy there is,
but it’s theorised that there is enough negative energy to match it. None of that would really matter to a Type Four civilization though, as it would be able to identify and use to its advantage allenergy in every form - that’s including the so far ultra-mysterious dark energy. We’re basically talking unlimited power here. Were humanity to reach this level then our civilization will’ve spread out across the entire universe, collecting, recycling and repurposing all of the energy from every single planet and star in every single star system in every single galaxy as efficiently as possible. We would have a complete map of the universe (although, probably an ultra-futuristic map digitally stored in our collective minds, rather than the 2D paper maps of today) and we would know the location of every star and planet (and be able to travel to and from them with ease). Galaxies, in this world, would be viewed more like how we see towns, cities and countries today; different, yes… but, easy to visit. We’d also have as clear as possible an understanding of
what other life exists in the universe, and where. The SETI search for extraterrestrial intelligence would no doubt still run in the background, but we will have essentially completed it. For a Type Four society, all aliens are known, and nothing is unknown. A Type Four civilization would have many different forms of technology at its disposal, too. Most of them, for us as we are (at around 0.7 on the Kardashev Scale), are impossible to predict… but some form of faster than light travel would, by this stage, be a given. Which means it would take us next to no time to travel through space. But, it could possibly go further than that, with Type Four Humanity able to manipulate spacetime to its will, and access time travel. The
logistics of time travel are famously difficult to comprehend, to the point that some believe it might not ever be possible purely because of the numerous paradoxes and dangers it entails. If it is to ever be possible, though, then a Type Four civilization would probably have it. Teleportation is a different, slightly more feasible matter, however. It already exists in the quantum world, so it doesn’t feel like too big a stretch that a far-future society (one with a whole universe’s worth of energy) should have developed it for use in the macro world - with whole human beings, whole animals, whole skyscrapers getting zapped from one place to another. In fact, the advent of teleportation might even prove to be what pushes Type Three humanity into Type Four… because it would be the thing which allows humans to visit other planets or galaxies - to travel the universe - in an instant.
Before teleportation, we will have relied on traditional, physical travel… after teleportation, even the most advanced of spaceships might not be needed, and the entire cosmos opens up to us. Taking vacation in the Andromeda galaxy might be a common occurrence for a Type Four being based in the solar system, in the Milky Way. But, really, there’s nothing to say that any Type Four humans would still live in this particular region of space. Say, in the future, we really do get to Type Four, by that time the solar system could’ve changed completely… and it might only be remembered as a kind of homeland, rather than anywhere we actually lived anymore. And,
as we stretched further and further away, we might have made homes on more than just the billions and billions of planets out there… A civilization this advanced might even be living inside (or close to) stellar, supermassive or ultramassive black holes. We’d almost certainly be living in extremely close proximity to stars, at least, on the Dyson Spheres and Swarms that would encircle them. Type Four humanity will’ve mastered the universe and everything in it, even the things - like black holes - which are totally mysterious to us today… so nothing would be off limits. Although many of these potential feats feel like they belong firmly in the realm of science fiction, there are some who believe that type four civilizations could already exist… with evidence supposedly found in the giant voids in space that we already know about, like the CMB cold spot. This cold spot is more than three billion light-years across and can’t be easily explained
away by modern theories on the universe, but there are various suggestions that it could be evidence of parallel universes… which are then seen as proof that another advanced civilization is on the outside looking in and affecting our universe in some way. If such a civilization really were to exist, then it will’ve actually gone beyond Type Four and into Type Five on the Kardashev Scale… meaning even an all-knowing Type Four humanity would have some limits placed upon it. But, nevertheless, there would still be nothing left to discover in our universe, and nothing left to explore... so, if this was our limit, perhaps we as a species could die quite happily. But would we actually need to? Probably not. In fact, there are a number of different ways that a Type Four civilization could become basically immortal. For one, its sheer prevalence in the universe would better its chances of never dying out. Short of a universe wide disaster - like
vacuum decay - extinction events just wouldn’t be as terminal to a Type Four species as a whole. Meanwhile, a Type Four human might well be individually immortal, too. It’s thought highly likely that, by this stage, technology will have reached a point where we’d be either partly or fully cyborg, with our minds implanted into synthetic bodies to prevent aging. And even if we still had organic bodies, they will’ve been enhanced to the point of invincibility. It would
be a good thing, then, that we’d have the whole universe at our disposal, because before long we would definitely need the space! Overall, Type Four humankind would be an all-powerful master species, living all across the universe as we know it, harnessing all of its energy, living close to forever, and probably manipulating the very laws of spacetime itself to suit any purpose we like. Living a Type V existence would mean harnessing all the energy possible in the Multiverse - which first and foremost means we’d be at a time when the multiverse “many worlds” theory was not just a confirmed reality, but one that we’d have mastered. We’d be able to travel anywhere and everywhere, most likely via wormholes, not only within our own universe, but to any point in any possible universe. In this way, it’s conceivable to think that such a civilization would’ve reached the acme of their technological prowess; the pinnacle at which everything that can exist does exist. The
energy output for such a scenario is impossible to predict - or even to fathom. However, it has been estimated that a Type IV civilization would have an output of 10 Quattuordecillion (that’s 10 to the power of 45) watts of power. So, given that Type IV would achieve this with just one universe, we’d multiply that figure by the number of universes that feature in our Type V multiverse… and that’s the incredible, almost unquantifiable estimate we’re dealing with. For
all intents and purposes, we’d have unlimited energy and boundless potential. What would that mean for our general state of mind? Well, a Type V civilization would have a complete understanding of every theory in existence; will have mastered every form of mathematics; will have perfected medicine, biology, astronomy, physics, and every other branch of science; and will have written all there is to write. As with our access to energy, our access to knowledge would be almost incomprehensible. Even highly skilled roles like research scientists and theoretical physicists would now be occupations of the past, as there’d be no more research needed in any field. Objective truth would be known throughout humanity and the so-called “theory of everything” will’ve been identified. Humanity would be masters over the laws of nature, able to manipulate them as they please. We’d also know of and will’ve catalogued every life form ever to exist in any universe,
past, present, or future. There’d be nothing that we wouldn’t understand! Religion, theology and even more general spirituality may well have died out at this point, too - or at least the broader inclination to “have faith” in anything will have passed. We’d now be able to prove or disprove the existence of a God quite easily by travelling to its dimension, if there is one. We wouldn’t require faith because we genuinely would know… although this part does depend on your interpretation. Some
would argue that God is inaccessible to humans no matter how advanced we become, so even under Type V circumstances we’d still fall short of supreme power. There’d be no doubting our powers everywhere else, though. By the time humanity had even reached a Type II level, we’d basically be invulnerable to destruction from nature. We could still obliterate ourselves by war, but natural disasters would no longer be a threat. Storms, earthquakes and volcanoes would all be manageable; even asteroids would be little more than a passing nuisance, thanks to our development of various techniques for sidestepping them - including literally moving planets out of their path. Which means that by the time we transcend to Type V status,
the colossal dangers we encounter today - what some might call “acts of God” - would be only a very distant memory. Even better, though; for a Type V civilization, even war would be a thing of the past, with fair and universal cohesion sweeping across existence. Part of the reason for no war could well be that the fundamental nature of our existence will’ve changed, as well. According to some projections, a Type V civilization could actually wind up being a non-physical phenomenon. Say, in our genuinely infinite wisdom,
we uncover (or build) a non-physical dimension where something akin to consciousness can reside… in the interests of ultimate efficiency we could inhabit that (instead of this tangible world) to achieve an even higher level of existence. In so doing, we’d have effectively conquered ageing, all disease and even death - turning ourselves into adaptable, indestructible streams of data while still, in order not to sacrifice happiness, finding a way to remain content in our new selves. Anyone born into this age wouldn’t have to fear death and could justifiably expect to live forever. We’d have long-surpassed even the need for AI prosthetics or artificial organs, as even ultra-advanced robotics that now seem impossible will’ve become clunky, outdated and unreliable. Even if someone did somehow die, we’d probably be able to recreate them again; or they’d be able to manipulate the multiverse into erasing their death or reversing it. For a Type V being,
what we’d today consider “superpowers” would be simple, blink-of-the-eye tasks! Which highlights a philosophical question at the heart of this heady sci-fi trip… because if humanity was a Type V civilization, then could it really still consider itself as “humanity” at all? How “human” could it ever really be? We’d have the ability to shape the world around us; to switch between universal plains; to live for as long as we’d like; and perhaps even to construct for ourselves a paradisal “afterlife”, if such a place was needed or wanted in a Type V time. The entire Multiverse would now be our playground and we would exist more like the Gods we envision today. Finally, and perhaps crucially, with a complete understanding of all dimensions across multiple universes, we’d also almost inevitably be able to time travel. We could harness our power to visit every moment in history, leaving no mystery unsolved and no historical inaccuracy unchecked, collating for ourselves a complete and definitive record of our existence. In this way, we’d at least be able to revisit the various “lower levels” of our evolution - even all the way back to the days of “humanity” as we understand it now. So, though we will’ve likely changed beyond
all recognition, every Type V human would be able to instantly reconnect with the past. The first thing to note, here, is that we’ve long since left conventional physics at the door. This isn’t something you’ll find in any textbook anytime soon, and that’s because a Type Six being would effectively live outside of reality. And, remember, this isn’t just outside of reality as we currently know it, either; it’s outside of a reality that we’d by this point know was far, far greater than just our single universe. At Type Six, even the all-knowing, all-seeing Type Fives would be totally beneath your gaze and fully at your mercy. This is the topmost level of life,
the final boss of existence, the ultimate enforcer of all things. Thinking about it in terms of how we view the world today… many would recognise a Type Six entity as a god. So, what if humanity reached this point? Well, one thing’s for sure, humanity wouldn’t be all that human anymore. Considering, again, that we currently rank at 0.7 on the Kardashev Scale, our species has an unfathomable amount to do and go through between now and then. Right now, we’re struggling to make best use of just one planet, in one star system, in one galaxy, in one universe. But, to achieve Type Six, we’ll have had to have ironed out every single inefficiency
about ourselves now, and from this point forward through Types One, Two, Three, Four and Five. Take language as a specific example… a Type Six society might not even have one. Or, at least, they wouldn’t be communicating in a way that’s at all recognisable to us. At one time in its past, when it was at a lower Kardashev level, such a civilization might’ve amalgamated all previous languages into a universal language. It might then have converted that spoken language into a digital one, negating the need for anything like conversation - and avoiding the possibility of miscommunication and confusion. This digitalized language might then have been optimized into
something like thought transference, so that not even body language was needed anymore. And then thought transference could lead into the creation of a shared (or hive) mind. And finally, as the Type Six civilization breaks beyond the usual bindings of even time and space and reality, that hive mind becomes more like a memory chip, ready to be accessed when (or if) its ever needed. With all of that knowledge and wisdom and power, something as humble as language could fall by the wayside. In fact, social connections of any kind might’ve long since disappeared, endlessly replaced by the next more efficient thing. Ultimately,
it could even be the case that a Type Six civilization wouldn’t even consist of individual beings, at all… it would be just one, all-encompassing collective mass, with that memory chip of existence in its hands (or whatever its equivalent of hands was). Let’s not forget that to a Type Six being, Earth (and everything it entails) would represent just one spot of ink on a stack of spotted papers; one speck of dust in a city of dusty houses… so far would a Type Six’s horizon stretch that it could look for an infinite number of lifetimes and never even notice this particular green-and-blue mass which has played host to all of human history, all of evolutionary history, up until now. Even if such a being could, incredibly, be traced all the way back to us, then, the average twenty-first century human would be so spectacularly far removed from the average Type Six mind. Today, we amuse ourselves by trying to work out problems like how the universe started, or how we could colonize other worlds, or whether time travel is doable… but these would be blink-and-miss-them bits of everyday information at the level of Type Six. All of our big questions will have been answered… and all of the answers would be basic, common, unimportant knowledge. Not only that, though, but as Type Six would operate outside of reality,
there would be no further questions above them. Nothing would be not known to them, and that would be a literal, incontestable fact. The much-used video game comparison is a problematic one if we apply it here, because neither Types Five nor Six automatically infer some kind of simulation… but it does provide a real-world, Type-less-than-one way of looking at it. Type Five is the game character that’s maxed out on attributes, and has been hacked and patched and glitched to such an incredible level of perfection that it’s really pointless for them even to be there. The game is done, and they’ve completed it so magnificently that their very existence is a marvel in itself. They know the game is a game, and they know why and how… so, well done to them. But, regardless, Type Six is the one with their hands on the controls. A Type Six civilization might
look at a Type Five with something like pride or satisfaction (if emotions like this even exist at this point) but they can turn away at any point. Turn their attention elsewhere. Or even turn off the console. Type Fives know it all, and they know how to shape and bend it all to their every want and desire. But Type Sixes know how to end it all in an instant. This power for potential destruction could be seen as the ultimate signifier of the highest civilization that there ever could be. It’s maybe a bleak way to look at things, but anything which
could erase everything else automatically sits at the top of any proposed civilization league table - which is, sort of, what the Kardashev Scale is. There is a slightly brighter flipside, though, because a Type Six being would also be the ultimate creator. We’re not talking the creator of just worlds or galaxies or even universes, here, but the creator of whole, unending, to anyone else totally unpredictable multiverses. And, let’s be honest, that is some serious power! How would (or could) Type Seven differ from Type Six? Well, there are two main, major upgrades that it’s theorised to make. The first is that we’re now dealing with what’s usually known as the omniverse. The omniverse is totally and completely
everything. It’s also infinite. Any structure or concept or idea or dimension you can think of, or any other civilization Type after you could think of, the omniverse contains. It’s unmatched, unparalleled and unsurpassable. While Type Six exists outside of the reality of a relatively simple multiverse - which is certainly impressive - an omniversal being collects even the content of their superior minds and condenses all of that knowledge and information into one final, all-encompassing data point - a Type Seven existence. There is a paradox in play, though, because of the infinite, all-powerful position we’ve now taken. By now, the energy usage criteria we’ve applied to each and every level before
this dissolves into, well, nothingness. We’re so far beyond the question of energy potential at this stage. Now, it’s all about information and understanding, and a Type Seven has it all within itself. Which means, because there is nothing else beyond it, a Type Seven essentially creates itself. It’s a fluid, constant entity. There is nothing else
higher up that can have dominion over it. And that’s what sets up the second major upgrade; that a Type Seven civilization wouldn’t really be a civilization at all. Rather than being an all-powerful collective, a Type Seven would (by most estimations) need to be singular. A Type Six society might have a number of beings connected via a hive mind - with a universal language and thought transference - but even that would be too inefficient for a Seven. There’d be too many opportunities for something to be imperfect. And perfection is the name of the game at this level. So, we most likely get one individual thing or essence, not through choice or design, but through nature. Although it, in itself, would also account for the concept of nature,
so really, we - way back down here at just level 0.7 - are extremely limited in how we can describe it. Even contemplating the conditions of its reality is currently beyond us. Again, we’d probably call it a God. But, actually, it would also, itself, be the reason why we even had the concept of Gods to fall back onto. Not only would it, like a Type Six civilization, have all the answers to all the questions imaginable, but it wouldn’t even need to formulate the questions in the first place. To it, the required information would just be. Here, there and everywhere. In the past,
the future, the present. Its consciousness is everything. Across every single variation of every single timeline imaginable, in a never-ending number of multiversal dimensions. Nothing would be unknown or unexpected. For the Type Seven, it would just be. So, where does humanity come into the picture? Well, on the literally never-ending landscape of a Level Seven perspective, we really, truly would be infinitesimally small. One species, on one planet, in a single galaxy, in a single universe, on one arm of one multiverse, inside one vision of one reality. The layers go on and on. If Type Seven really does exist, then it almost certainly gives our existence very little thought indeed. But it does of
course know that we exist, all the same. Because it knows everything, always. And, finally, could humanity ever become this itself? What if we climbed far enough to reach the very top of this absurdly theoretical tree, first planted by Kardashev in the 1960s? Well, such an ascension would confirm various mind-boggling ideas. For one, it would without doubt establish us as the most advanced species ever to exist. We would also have stopped even caring about the Kardashev Scale, though, because we will have long-since realised that the scale only exists as a tiny, ancient piece of our own inevitable journey to total, all-consuming power. But if that all sounds just a little too crazy… if this all feels just a touch too impossible… maybe that’s because it probably is. Even if the ethereal Type Seven really does exist,
then it could be that no civilization - human or otherwise - could ever hope to reach it. That our being outside of it is confirmation enough that we can never become it, ourselves. If and when we master Earth, we will at least be able to call ourselves Type One. And, according to the lower estimates, that could happen within just a few hundred years’ time… If we were to then work out how to spread across the solar system, we could justifiably re-label ourselves as Type Two… and perhaps humanity won’t need to have changed itself too dramatically between that particular future point and now. The path gets fairly unknowable from this moment forward, however. By the time our species fulfils the credentials to become just Type Three or Four, as we’ve found in previous episodes, it is already beginning to morph into something that’s unrecognisable to us today. To get to Type
Five, we not only have to have understood the true nature of the universe, but we also need to have uncovered actual proof of the multiverse. Not only would we be a totally different prospect at this point, but our reality would be, too. Then, for Type Six, we have to see that reality… and step outside of it. And, finally, for Type Seven, we have to be that reality from the beginning.
We’re now so far removed from our humble beginnings, and all in the name of progress. There’s no telling what path humanity will take in the future, but the route to the top of the Kardashev Scale would transform it beyond all recognition. And that’s what would happen if humanity WAS a Kardashev Civilization.
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