This was where a Galactic Civilisation was built from the ruins of the Twentieth Century…

The entry in the Multiverse TV Guide reads:

Twenty First Century: for the majority of timelines, this was where a Galactic Civilisation was built from the ruins of the Twentieth Century (and the Industrial Civilisation that preceded it).”

Here in Cosmic Anthropologist HQ we spend a lot of time contemplating a more fleshed out Kardashev Scale. Something that has more dimensions than just energy usage. Cultural factors. Ethical metrics.

Here in Cosmic Anthropologist HQ we’re looking forward to being able to have a bath without using a bucket.

“The Future Composts the Past.” ~ Bruce Sterling

In most of those other timelines, Giant Mutant Rats haunt a ruined Earth.


And in just one, we got to Mars in the fifteenth century. Thanks to time travelling posthumans willing to save the world by any means necessary. Obviously.


Some speculate we got there decades ago. Or rather, They did. Those with their secret space program.

History is a lie. Progress is an illusion.

The Truth, as ever, lies somewhere between what we think we know and what we fear and what we can’t even imagine.

It wasn’t until the fifth viewing of Cloud Atlas that I saw the Wachowskis are showing us more than the trap of eternal recurrence. They’re giving us glimpses of the path we’re on too. Neo Seoul and the drowning earth.

Cloud Atlas

And of course, a civilisation that just managed to reach the stars before the Collapse finally came. That managed to hurl bits of itself out into the void in one last push.

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas

Which makes the plot of Jupiter Ascending all the more interesting.

from the Jupiter Ascending ‘look book’

I’m paying attention.

I’m standing here in the rubble of the World with a shovel, ready to build a Type 2 Civilisation.

Who knows, maybe the galaxy will meet us halfway?

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The words of Michio Kaku and the voice of Bruce Sterling combine to provide this concise guide to Knowing Your Type 3 Civilization Anthropologists.

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My favourite “I’m tipsy” pondering about the Singularity is: Why do we assume we’re the first species to try it? — Kevin Schmidt (@moonandserpent) January 20, 2014 So we uplift ourselves up the scale and when we go to inhabit all matter with consciousness we found out the last Type Omega civ beat us. — […]

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Ed Lu interviewed the other day on NPR about the Near Earth Asteroid Defense system his B612 Foundation are constructing, in partnership with NASA. I went into detail on that in a post on Grinding last year, after his Long Now talk. And the Overview Effect Enforcement Agency may have been mentioned. He also talks […]

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Behold the Superhabitable World

Superhabitability describes a perfect storm of life-friendly factors. In their recent paper, astrobiologists René Heller and John Armstrong describe no fewer than 18 of them. First and foremost, superhabitability arises on terrestrial planets with masses two to three times that of Earth. Planets that size have a number of things working for them, including: Long […]

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Extraterrestrial Civilizations and the Kardashev Scale

From Dr. Michio Kaku’s speech “Contact from Outer Space” given at the Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF 2011) held in Riyadh on January 22-25, 2011.
The Classification of Extraterrestrial Civilizations is based on the energy manipulation, control, and utilization of the Extraterrestrial Civilizations.  The different types are:
Type 0 – SUB-PLANETARY – able to harness and control various Natural resources of a Planet
Type 1 – PLANETARY – able to harness the total power of Planets, control weather, mine oceans, etc.
Type 2 – STELLAR – able to harness and control the total power of Stars
Type 3 – GALACTIC – able to harness and control the total power of Galaxies
Type 4 – UNIVERSAL – able to harness and control the total power of extragalactic energy sources such as Dark Energy

And Stargate shows a Galactic, Type 3 culture. Stargate: Universe = Type 4 mystery adventure, at its core.

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Cyberpunk genre (and post-cyberpunk) is frequently centered on the transitional inter-periods between Type-0 and Type-I status. While frequently focused on how the concepts of “Transhumanism” and “Singularity” will eventually overcome the problems that have, up until now, been endemic to human nature, Cyberpunk subverts this to describe the Dystopian side should a civilization “self-destruct” in the process of achieving Type-I status. In such fiction, most current world problems are local in warfare, local in culture, and usually mono-cultural, and theistic; further aggravated by various groups trying to retain a Type-0 monoculture through religious fanaticism and opposition to technological progress, and others trying to move forward to a Type-I global civilization through technological advances and institutional change.

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