Our sf-nal brothers-in-blog over at SF Signal have managed to score an interview with the occasionally controversial but always entertaining pop-science writer Dr. Michio Kaku.
The SF Signal gang ask Dr. Kaku a bunch of questions (including what he thinks about Mundane SF, believe it or not), but what I found most interesting was his response when asked whether humans stood a chance of becoming a Kardashev Type I civilisation:
“I see evidence of our historic transition from a Type 0 civilization to a Type I civilization. For example:
- English is rapidly emerging as the most likely candidate for a planetary language.
- The internet is an emerging Type I telephone system.
- The EU, NAFTA, etc. are the seeds of a planetary economy.
- A planetary culture is gradually emerging, based on youth culture (e.g. rock and roll, rap), fashion, movies.
But there is also a backlash against this historic transition. Anything this monumental is bound to create a counter force. These are the terrorists (who instinctively dislike a planetary civilization, which is necessarily multicultural, scientific, progressive, and tolerant). Also, we have the forces of chaos and destruction, such as nuclear proliferation and designer germs.”
So rock music is a sign of an advanced civilisation? I feel vindicated! 🙂
More seriously, it seems Dr. Kaku is cautiously optimistic about our progress so far – perhaps uniting in opposition to the “forces of chaos” will crystallise us into a Type I planetary civilisation?
That said, Karl Schroeder isn’t convinced by the Kardashev Scale – it’s inherently homocentric, meaning that what applies to us hairless monkeys is unlikely to apply to any other species. So perhaps we’re trying to classify the unclassifiable?
I love the smell of philosophy in the morning! [image by Shayan]