The Prototype

Nothing excites our editors more than a movie about a bad ass military Cyborg doing things it wasn’t designed to do. “The Prototype” is the latest in the ongoing and seemingly never ending “bad robot / bad cyborg genre” that we simply cannot get enough of. Like so many things in this pre-singularity age the prospect of our technological creations pulling a Cylon move on all of humanity when we least expect it is simultaneously frightening, exciting and inevitable. So enjoy! … until of course we create our own misbehaving military cyborg robot army.

What Type of Civilization Do We Have?

If we tally up all the achievements and technological advancements over the last 50 or even the last 25 years it seems that mankind has come a long way from our hunting and gathering past. That is until you compare our achievements to the categorization method developed by Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. According to the Kardashev Scale civilizations can be divided in to five or more distinct types, each group is defined by the amount of power available to each civilization.

Type 1 civilization is characterized by its ability to utilize all the power emanating from its central star to drive its civilization forward. Fossil fuels are no longer needed and are in fact insufficient for such a civilization. They can control their planetary environment via geo engineering and have a high-tech fast moving planetary culture. Various forms of fusion power would drive such a civilization toward the next level. Space travel and early space colonies quickly emerge.

Type 2 civilization can take full advantage of all the energy of an entire solar system. Space travel and space colonies would be commonplace. Large scale stellar engineering would be possible such as the construction of artificial structures in space in excess of 1au. The ability to create an early form of Dyson Sphere or Ring World could be achieved by such a civilization.

Type 3 civilization is characterized by its ability to capture and use power on a galactic scale. FTL travel is possible as is the ability to both create and control black holes. The ability to travel instantly anywhere in the universe is possible. Dyson Spheres and other ultra massive stellar engineering abilities are almost passé.

Type 4 civilization leverages the enormous power of an entire universe to achieve its aims. Travel to other parallel universes would be possible as would a sophisticated understanding of controlled evolution, synthetic biology and the creation of artificial life. The ability to create micro universes, whole solar systems and new life forms from scratch would be among just a few of the staggering god like abilities of such a civilization.

Type 5 civilization is almost inconceivable, technology as a cultural artifact would be completely unrecognizable. Instead members of a type 5 level civilization and beyond would appear to have magical or god like abilities that we at our present level of cultural development have no context for nor language to describe. Mind over matter would take on an entirely different meaning. The ability to manipulate matter, energy, time, space and dimension at all scales would be possible. For people from a type 5 civilization, whatever could be imagined would become reality.

So what type of civilization do we have? Type Zero

“The Last Of Us” Looks Quite Simply Amazing

The soon to be released “The Last Of Us” from Naughty Dog looks quite simply amazing. Judging from the trailer that was shown at E3 2012 we don’t know if it was a pandemic plague, a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion, or the fulfillment of Mayan prophesy but something happened to transform this world into a post apocalyptic wasteland fit only for the cleaver, crafty and strong willed to survive. In our post nine eleven reality it seems (in US at least) we are absolutely obsessed with the idea of the collapse of American civilization, which is often what makes games in this genre so popular. On one level the fall of civilization is greatly feared and there is a great anxiety built up around the notion that if we don’t “change course” somehow a post apocalyptic future awaits us. We seem to be unable or unwilling to actually do the necessary thing (whatever it is) to avoid it. Strangely apocalyptic fantasy continues to occupy a kind of dark fantasy someplace deep within the psyche of the western mind. Perhaps games like this serve as a kind of psychological release valve for the ever increasing anxiety many feel when they try to think on what the future may hold.

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