Category Archives: Science

Clearing The Smoke

Herbal and plant medicines have been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of conditions but some plants are considered to be too controversial for use to modern western medical science. Cannabis commonly known as Marijuana has been used by many to relive nausea, chronic pain and to reduce anxiety.  The Montana PBS documentary “Clearing The Smoke” explores the complex world of researchers, doctors, patients and politics of Cannabis research.

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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

A Fusion Reactor In The Garage

Adolescence can be a challenging time for a young person, on the one hand you are no longer child but on the other you are not precisely an adult either, sadly you are stuck between worlds. For some this stage of life is fraught with struggle, angst and relentless biological temptations. For a few however adolescence can be a time of tremendous creativity, ingenuity and intellectual exploration. In this TED Talk Taylor Wilson describes why he thinks nuclear fusion could hold the key to our planets energy future and he should know, he built his first fusion reactor at the age of 14.

So What Were You Doing At 14?