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Is Kaku crazy enough?

  1. May 31, 2007 #1


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  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2007 #2
    .. er.. i'm not so sure the empire is type 3. It's more like type 2 on steroids.
  4. May 31, 2007 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yes we will make it. And we're not a type 0, we are type 0.01

    Did Kaku just suggest that we invent the Borg? :biggrin:
  5. Jun 1, 2007 #4
    It uses a log scale for some reason. We're actually around 0.7
  6. Jun 1, 2007 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Really? ...oh, is this based on time or energy?

    I thought we were supposed to be barely past 0.
  7. Jun 1, 2007 #6
  8. Jun 1, 2007 #7
    I think we will blow eachother up before we ever get along.
  9. Jun 1, 2007 #8
    for most things i google search wiki is the first hit
  10. Jun 2, 2007 #9
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2007
  11. Jun 2, 2007 #10
    Ahahaha you have to watch this video (the end is the worst), to see how senile this host is.

  12. Jun 2, 2007 #11
    Am I the only one who thinks this is nothing but some politics and emotion disguised as scientific thought?
  13. Jun 2, 2007 #12
    Some funny comments at the expense of the interviewer. Kaku is probably very used to having conversations with people like this. It looked like a few times Kaku was starting to lose his patience. I really like how he took the conversation back in the direction he was headed every time. It would have been much more interesting if the interviewer just told Kaku that he has an hour to speak and may start anytime he likes.

    It's easier to destroy something than it is to create it. We have already reached the point where we can destroy a type 1 society. Hopefully our ability to become one isn't too far behind. It's the period of time inbetween those two markers that concerns me. Kaku says we have a 50/50 chance. I'd like to know how he comes about that figure.

    Haha, that's hilarious. (27:03 - 27:05)
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2007
  14. Jun 2, 2007 #13
    I don't know if Kaku is crazy or not, but he definitely has a lot of patience...
  15. Jun 2, 2007 #14
    Well it's TV...

    Type 1 is 3 orders of magnitude (watts) above us. I'm of the opinion that it would crush us like a bug.
  16. Jun 2, 2007 #15


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    I'm not going to say Kaku is wrong or anything since he hopefully knows a lot more than I do, but he seems to be making a lot of assumptions, and some of the things he points out as being signs of a changing era are things that have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years.

    His reference of EU and NAFTA as a sign of trade globalization may be true, that doesn't mean politics will globalize as well. Historically there have been many huge empires like the Romans, the Mongolians, and maybe even USSR, but they all collapsed in favor of smaller nations with more local governments. Even in your own country you can probably name a few instances of alienation and separatism. California (just a little bit) in the US. Quebec in Canada. Ireland in UK. To top it off, the League of Nations and United Nations are both effectively useless global governments. People just don't seem to want globalized government, and that throws a wrench into Kaku's assumption that civilization is headed that way.

    He said English is the current international language, which is true. At one time French was the big language you had to know. As China and India get more powerful, I would expect Mandarin and Hindi to become more widespread. He is correct that international languages exist, but they are not a sign of globalization and a changing civilization.

    He said terrorists resist the changing of civilization because they are seeing the beginning of a "new planetary civilization", which is not entirely true. Some time around 1300AD, a Muslim scholar thought it was a good idea to attack science and say it was evil, which was strange because up until that time the Middle East was the basically the center of scientific advancement (our number system is Arabic, most of the stars have Arabic names, even the word "algebra" is an Arabic word). The war between Islam and science is nothing new; it has been around for literally 700 years, and it's not restricted to terrorists.

    He said that the numbers would predict lots of other type 1-3 civilizations across the universe, but that seems a bit exadurated. The numbers predict lots of planets where life can exist. From there you need to ask how many of those hypothetical planets will actually have life on them. How many of those planets with life will have advanced civilizations, or even multicellular life. Then of those planets that have advanced civilizations, how many of them will have made the leap from Type 0 to Type I?

    Kaku then says if we actually get into space and have starships, we may find civilizations that did not make the jump to Type I and died because of an irrated atmosphere or an overheated planet (global warming). This seems like a very strange thing to say because it assumes there's no way to stop pollution or global warming, and that we absolutely must get into outer space or we will die.

    It's a bit confusing when a scientist goes on about things he probably imagined when he fell asleep in the tub. Is it just a story? Is it supposed to be scientific? Is he trying to teach us or is he trying to entertain us? Nobody knows but him.
  17. Jun 2, 2007 #16
    I didn't mean we would win a war against a type 1 civilization. I just meant that we already have the ability to destroy all civilization on this planet, yet we can't seem to operate as a single planetary civilization. That seems like a dangerous combination to me.
  18. Jun 2, 2007 #17
    I don't think of California as seperate or alienated from the United States. It is different, but still a part of the nation. Kaku went to some length to describe how there would be a global culture containing many regional subcultures. This is already happening in some ways, as Kaku also mentioned, with the youth of the world. The reason this is able to happen is because of a world-wide system of communication. The Romans and Mongolians didn't have a way to communicate with their subordinates over vast distances. This is one reason that managing a vast empire would be difficult. A type 1 civilization would have difficulty managing regions around another star, light-years away. A government doesn't have years to wait for messages to travel back and forth. They would be more like colonies to the central government. With many colonies over vast distances there becomes a serious problem with enforcing the central government's authority. Now that we have satellites and undersea cables, people can communicate with each other anywhere on the world. Cultures have more accessability with each other and can mingle more. As Kaku mentioned, the entire world recognizes Madonna and Swarzenegger. They have fans around the world, and many different cultures have this thing in common. With a common culture and a common language many of the barriers that prevent a global government are removed. As communication increases a common culture will develop all on its own, as it is now.
  19. Jun 2, 2007 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    In one sense I think you make some good points - in particular the part about wanting local governments is interesting. But I also think there is a big difference between the Mongolians and NAFTA. NAFTA is an agreement that seeks to unite economies, whereas the rest mentioned were conquerers. Perhaps the philosophy of the former Soviet was admirable in that they were interested in the well being of the average person, but they were also concerned about political and military power. Trade agreements are about economics and global competition.

    How many countries do we have represented here at PF? Already we see the barriers between countries breaking down with the first international conversation in human history taking place today on the internet. However, with the language translation software coming along this point may be moot. It might be argued that the true international language is binary.

    You jumped from "planetary civilization", to science. In fact the terrorists are using science as a weapon to take down modern civilization. They wish to end the influence of modern society on traditional societies. Terrorism is about religious beliefs, control, and influence, not science.

    Gotta agree on that one. Although we are able to make better estimates for some Drake variables, we really have no idea what the odds are for life to occur.

    Kaku is pretty pessimistic about our future. One night I was listening to him talk about this, and he seems to think we have most likely already passed the point of no return [AGW]. But his message is about suriviving what lies ahead.

    The fact that he is a scientist doesn't imply that he always speaks for science. He is also a human being who is concerned about the future of humanity. He also wants to sell books, :biggrin: but I think the books are the chicken, not the egg [which comes first]. He has a message that he has worked very hard to get out, and he tries to convey his message in terms that will appeal to the general public since this is his target audience.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2007
  20. Jun 2, 2007 #19


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    I made the jump from globalization to science because science is what drives globalization. You are correct in saying "They wish to end the influence of modern society on traditional societies", but fundamentally that means they're against science. That guy in 1300AD who wrote about science being evil was claiming that science was drawing people away from god because it was fundamentally changing the way people lived their lives.

    edit: shortened this post so it doesn't seem like such a derail.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2007
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