What If Humanity Was A Type III Civilization? | Unveiled


What If Humanity Was a Type III Civilization? Across our history, humanity has slowly grown
to dominate almost all of Earth’s ecosystems. From sharpening stones to breaking the internet,
we’ve developed technologies that have helped us to do amazing things. So, what’s next for our species? This is Unveiled, and today we’re answering
the extraordinary question: What if humanity was a Type Three civilization. Are you a fiend for facts? Are you constantly curious? Then why not subscribe to Unveiled for more
clips like this one? And ring the bell for more fascinating content! So, what exactly is a Type Three Civilization? The term was first coined by the Soviet astronomer
Nikolai Kardashev, who devised a way to categorize the degree of technological advancement and
intergalactic influence of all hypothetical societies. He originally offered three separate groups
– Types One, Two and Three – with more categories added afterwards to encompass even more possibilities
for our imagined civilizations. But still, Type Three is held as an ultimate
“end goal”. According to the Kardashev Scale, a Type One
group is able to harness all of the energy produced by and on its home planet; Type Two
groups can capture and efficiently use the energy produced by their most local star – perhaps,
at their highest level, through something called a Dyson Sphere, a theoretical device
that would surround the sun to transfer energy back to us like super-efficient solar panels;
But, a Type Three civilization runs off of the energy output of its entire galaxy – in
our case, it’d mean a system of energy capture that would leave no star or object in the
Milky Way untouched or untapped. We’d be a super-advanced race of beings
with seemingly limitless power! As mentioned, the Kardashev Scale has been
expanded in both directions more recently to include Type Zero, medieval-style tech
that we’ve since improved upon; But also Type Four, the harnessing of energy from an
entire universe; and Type Five, which unlocks the power of the multiverse. But, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves
– Type Three galactic power has often been billed as the major breakthrough. So, what would entering Kardashev’s third
tier mean for us? And where exactly are we starting from? Well, according to Carl Sagan’s interpretation
back in the 1970’s, Earth deserved to be classified as Type 0.7 planet. Which, in Kardashev’s grand scheme of things,
feels fairly disappointing – especially since we’re also the most advanced civilization
we’ve ever seen in all of the universe. For Sagan, combining both our technological
advancement and our general access to information – that is the things we have but also the
things we know – we can’t yet consider ourselves fully Type One. Regardless, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku
has said he thinks humanity will assume our place as a Type One group in a century or
two. While the milestones for progress between
Zero and One aren’t universally agreed upon, we have at least achieved some degree of technological
and societal improvement to show that we’re heading in the right direction. Remember, it’s mostly about using our own
planet’s potential in as efficient and logical a way as possible. For example, we’ve made steps toward a global
language, our worldwide communication system – the internet – is potentially only decades
away from being accessible for every member of our species, and we’ve seen the birth
of mostly cohesive trading blocs like the European Union. To truly become a Type One civilization, though,
we have to balance our technological progress with the environment, ecosystems and general
planet that we live on – or else we risk an early self-destruction. 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. And that’s what would happen if humanity
was a Type Three civilization. What do you think? Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments, check out these
other clips from Unveiled, and make sure you subscribe and ring the bell for our latest
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