The transition to Type I civilization

That video on the future of our civilization by Dr Michio Kaku today made me think (enough that I was late putting that lamb to roast for dinner).

You see, there is no major transition without violence. And as Kaku says, it’s very possible that we won’t make it, because a lot of people will oppose the changes it brings. Harnessing huge powers requires more security measures, more “globalization” of thought and culture. This is not about just a few cultures not wanting anything to do with it, but even modern people who live in US or EU would protest. Such a transition would put a stress test on the limits of your own open mind.

You see, it might be essential to a Type I civilization, to take decisions that today are thought to be immoral: genetic experiments, termination of infants that are not healthy, pre-determined choice of profession, behavior and thought control. In other words, think of “1984”, times 10. With great power, comes great responsibility, and to ensure order, such measures might be unavoidable. This kind of future frightens all of us, not just “the anti-new world order” individuals. However, think that we already live in such an environment it’s just that the governments of the world don’t have enough technology yet to make our lives even more restrictive: all our communications are recorded, we are watched by hidden cameras on the streets, while the TV is doing its best to shape our opinions.

Even myself, who I try to have an open mind regarding most things (including ugly genetic experiments), I have opposed additional security measures and RFID on humans. So if I can barely take it, how is the average Joe Christian is going to? This is where Kaku rings the bell and says that it’s a very dangerous transition exactly because whatever freedoms you are taking for granted today won’t necessarily be present in such a Type I civilization. And removal of basic freedoms, or loss of culture with one sweep, always breeds guerrilla fighters.

I know that many will say that “humans are meant to be free, people won’t take it and will revolt“, but that’s hogwash. Humans are resilient and know how to intelligently change their lifestyle in order to fit in any ‘New World Order’. No matter how dictatorial such a future might sound to us right now. Once upon a time people would take a dump in a main street and no one would care, today it’s common sense not to do that, but for them, our society would already seem too restrictive. Study sociology on many cultures, including dictatorships, and look how people were living their lives just fine. Besides, thought and behavior control is going to be big business for governments in the future so “terrorism” can be eliminated this way.

So what are we to do? Embrace this frightening change that’s so incompatible with our ideas of how life should be, or fight it? Speaking as a human living in 2008, I’d say “fight it”, meaning only “delay it”. However, if I was to be somehow transported to the year 2108, I would accept that civilization’s traits: I would voluntarily get an RFID and a thought control chip, and whatever else they do for fun in that time. In other words, unless things are really-really shitty and your family starves because of that new economo-political system, don’t bother fighting the status quo. If you have food in your table, it obviously works. But what about freedom, you ask?

In the popular mythology of our time, the Greys don’t have independent thought, not because they were originally incapable of having one, but because their socio-political system have removed all their independence from them through genetic or artificial means (think of them as a kinder, gentler Borg). This way there are no “terrorists” among them thinking that “ooh, Jeez, we should stop doing anal probes to humans, it’s not ethical“. Instead, they all do what their collective thinks it’s the right thing to do for their species: “we should do anal probes to humans so we collect that bacteria that live in their gut that make these great face lotions“. And that’s that.

We have to look at the problem from a 1 billion feet high, in other words, we must get the big picture and ask ourselves: what’s more important in the long run: our personal freedom, or the survival of the species? If we don’t make the transition to Type I, WE DIE as a species. There’s no way around this, it’s just how it is. And when I say “we die”, I mean in the long run. Simply starting a nuclear war and killing off a few billion people in order to make humans go back to a prehistorically simpler way of life doesn’t solve the long run survival problem as the sun is bound to eat up Earth eventually.

What if, the only reason why every species is pre-encoded with a survival instinct, is not just to survive here and now, but to survive the species for the eons to come? What if, when the universe goes bust, from all the billions and trillions of intelligent civilizations in the universe, only a handful of them “make it” to another, warmer universe and continue to live on? Kinda like the millions of sperm shot from a male, but only one makes it and continues to be living in a female’s egg. Wouldn’t that be a noble reason to advance ourselves? Wouldn’t ultimate survival be the reason to lay off personal freedoms in order to preserve life itself, and the history of a whole universe that was?

4 Comments »

thing wrote on June 4th, 2008 at 2:16 AM PST:

would i fight now? yeas, of course
would i fight if the society were already this way? probably not, for the reasons of the
Milgram_experiment
probably as most of people wouldn’t be able to overcome the instinct to obey.
but should i fight it? yes, of course, our society it’s (at least in words) founded on freedom? it’s our most high value? or better do i believe in it or i don’t give a shit about it?
for me the answer to the question what’s more important in the long run: our personal freedom, or the survival of the species? is really obvious: our personal freedom, i don’t give a shit about the survival of the species
what i’m more concerned about it’s the survival of the planet, and for that human race extinction it’s the best thing it could happen to the planet


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Eugenia wrote on June 4th, 2008 at 2:48 AM PST:

>i don’t give a shit about the survival of the species

Then you don’t deserve your personal freedom either, unless you go and live all alone in the jungle. But I don’t see you do that.

>human race extinction it’s the best thing it could happen to the planet

Not really. The Sun will eat up Earth in 3 billion years. A Type-III civilization is able to move whole planets to another star system. If we never make it, the planet has no chance without us. Again, you will have to see the bigger picture.


thing wrote on June 4th, 2008 at 3:24 AM PST:

> Then you don’t deserve your personal freedom either, unless you go and live all alone in the jungle. But I don’t see you do that.

i can see “other people”, not a strange entity that don’t know why i should love called “species”
also, i hate the antropocentric vision of the universe, it’s what lead to the agonizant earth we have today

> Not really. The Sun will eat up Earth in 3 billion years. A Type-III civilization is able to move whole planets to another star system. If we never make it, the planet has no chance without us. Again, you will have to see the bigger picture.

maybe i’m too scared only thinking a civilization could do that (well, maybe somewhere it exists already who knows) or i’m thinking that it would mean a such big amount of energy that would mean sacrificating the mass of other plasnets or stars to do it (and who says we are more important than them)
or i feel that would mean beating a dead horse
or probably i’m simply too deep rooted in today civilization that i can’t accept that idea, so can’t accept that i would prefer no future at all


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Eugenia wrote on June 4th, 2008 at 4:00 AM PST:

>i hate the antropocentric vision of the universe

My vision is not anthropocentric (please use a spell checker and stop signs btw, your comments are really hard to read). My vision is intelligent-centric. For example, if there were two species fighting for the same vital resource and the other species is better than us in almost every way, I would let them have it in order to give THEM the chance of surviving.


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