I always think that our current civilization is advanced. I even leave a comment recently saying that I believe this time will have special spot in human history. Why? Because advances like the Internet has improved human civilization like never before.
That is before I come across the Kardashev scale though. I’ve now changed my mind. I think our civilization is actually very, very “primitive”.
What is Kardashev scale? Kardashev scale is a measurement of how technologically advanced a civilization is. It is measured based on the amount of energy which can be harnessed by the civilization. There are three categories in Kardashev scale:
- Type I: a civilization that is able to harness all of the power available in a single planet.
- Type II: a civilization that is able to harness all of the power available from a single star (which in our case is the sun).
- Type III: a civilization that is able to harness all of the power available from a single galaxy (which in our case is Milky Way with its 200 billion stars).
Our civilization hasn’t even reached Type I! Far from it. Thus our civilization is just called Type 0. Scientists predicted that we will achieve Type I by year 2200 and Type II by year 5200 (3000 years after type I!). What about Type III? Due to the limitation of speed of light, it might be even millions of years away.
This makes me think. I thought our civilization is very advanced. But I imagine that a Type I civilization will look back at our civilization the same way we now look at 1000-years-ago civilization. And I imagine that a Type II civilization will look back at our civilization the same way we now look back at the stone age! Our civilization with all its achievements is just a stone age for them! Here is a stone age called “the Internet age”.
Lesson for Personal Development
I think we often do the same thing with our personal development. We may think that we already know quite a lot, have a lot of experiences and so on. Or maybe we think that we have already reached 30%, 40% or 50% of our potential.
This is the problem: we look to short ahead! Go, climb a mountain, and see how vast the world is. Already reach 30% of your potential? Come on, maybe you have reached only 1%, or even less. Don’t look to short ahead.
This makes me excited. Why? Because I can be far, far more than what I currently imagine. I can be far beyond my limited imagination. There is no boundary on what I and you can achieve.
If you doubt it, just remember this: even our Internet age with all its achievements is actually nothing but a stone age.
Nice post, very interesting. I’m not sure if it makes me excited or depressed though. Overall, I really have to agree that we are still a primitive species. It’s funny people think themselves so advanced just because we have fancier gadgets than ever before. On the inside, we’re the same as ever.
You are right, John. People can either feel excited or depressed learning about it. They can either feel excited looking at the possibilities or feel intimidated by the reality. So I guess we’d better take the positive side :).
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