I was watching something on Discovery Channel yesterday and they had that Japanese physicist guy that they always interview for all the cool space-and-aliens stuff and he said that they've divided up alien civilizations into three types.
A Type 1 Civilization is an alien civilization that knows how to harness all the different kinds of energy you can get out of a planet, y'know, like geothermal and tidal-gravity energy and stuff.
A Type 2 Civilization is an alien civilization that has moved on to harnessing the power of their own sun.
And a Type 3 Civilization is an alien civilization that has moved on to harnessing power sources even greater than that (who the hell knows what that's supposed to be, guys that can create their own artificial wormholes and wield the power of solar systems against other solar systems and travel through time about as well as they can travel through space and stuff, I guess).
They say that our civilization is a Big Fat Zero on that chart, since we've mostly just been using fossil fuels made from dead plants and animals to do everything (including all the Steam Power junk from the first half of the last century), and we're only starting to figure out how to get power out of other things on our planet.
Nuclear power doesn't really fit into this rating system too well, though, its not a "planetary" type of power, its more like a "star" type of power, if anything, 'cause that's what a star is, a big ole fat gravity powered nuclear reactor.
And along those lines there's some other dumb things about trying to make things fit into this rating system, y'know.
But I like the way it sorta maps out how civilations would spread to inter-stellar and inter-galactic junk, that's cool and everything.
One of the things this space exploration stuff always reminds me of is the way we sorta skip the idea of all the survival benefits the human race would have from just being able to live in orbit of our planet, in some kinda of biodome-y space stations or something.
Where we would use our planet as a resource, and any time it had a disaster, man-made or otherwise, we would just get out of the goddam way and wait until the dust settled before we went back down with our mining rigs and shit.
Where we would use our planet sorta like a shield just to block asteroids and harmful radiation and stuff.
It makes no sense to me that we would want to colonize other planets, once we could do that.
Why go down there unless it was to grab some resource you need?
Or to have a picnic or something.
But everybody's all into this colonizing other planets junk.
Which just seems like a huge waste of time and energy to me, plus, its sorta stupid and dangerous, getting all yer equipment wrecked by Martian Tornados and shit when it was totally unecessary.
Mobility is a huge survival advantage, the biggest of all, actually, the ability to move out of harm's way.
And so giving up yer mobility is sorta dumb.
Not that I'm against terraforming, that shit is totally fun to think about.
But I think if I was a guy in a nice Mothership, I wouldn't be too excited about going down there on the surface and hiding in a cave while meteors and tidal waves strike and shit heh.
Or mebbe it'd be more accurate to say that I'd be too excited to go down there and do that ahaha.
I tend to see the future of civilization as a huge-ass network of spaceships with a lot of mining equipment that moves around and stripmines the hell out of shit to make the fleet bigger.
And I'm not just talking about mining ore and stuff, I'm talking about collecting hydrogen and whatever we need for fuel and our leaky biodome crap and stuff, too, y'know?
Some bad wind blows through space, and we either move out of the way, or we move into a position where a planet or something will take the punch for us.
Bah, whatever, the only reason I even think about all this stuff is because a Space Station with some Mobility is the Number One Most Awesome Place for an Evil Super Villain Hideout heh.
Even beats the Underwater Base (which ain't even a close second).
And the Antarctic Base is even worse than that.
So all this junk about generations of people living in space for thousands of years on route to some earth-like planet where they'll try to live on the surface just seems like a really dumb thing to think about first as far as Survival of the Species goes, y'know?
Sure, I like the way that a Disaster on Earth 1 won't completely wipe us all out, 'cause there's an Earth 2, but its still about twice as dumb as just sitting in orbit and working together to do something useful heh.
That's one place where the population boom is good thing, y'know, if you can figure out how to physically support it, 'cause you get all these smart brains showing that up that can work together.
Its just like adding memory chips to a computer or something, y'know?
The Human Brain Network keeps getting more and more powerful.
And it'd be detrimental to send half of our brainpower to Earth 2 (especially our best half heh) unless we had some kinda instantaneous communication or something so we could all benefit from anything they (or we) figured out.
Which is something we won't have until we've figured out at least a little of that Type 3 Civilization stuff, according to the Chart.
So there's that, too.