Future of Humanity: Planetary Civilization

Many people look at the future with a sense of sadness. What if we do not survive the numerous transitions that we are making or need to be making? However, with our ability to keep adapting and rebounding, there is much cause for optimism when thinking about what is to come.

Essential Themes

In each chapter of Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku introduces many different ideas. As a group, you will select three ideas from the chapter you are responsible for that interest you the most. This could be because some of you have a personal connection to the idea, question the idea, or are intrigued by the idea. Compare and contrast the three ideas. Be sure to include individuals and events that are involved in the ideas.

This should be completed in paragraph form and be roughly 350 words for each idea. Please make headings for each idea and work with your partners to incorporate multimedia (no more than 1 video), graphics (no more than 3) and other items with this. Your explanation should be understandable by an average middle schooler or higher.

Civilizations the Future Holds

Kaku on civilizations.PNG[2]

We might think that we are advanced, however we are not even close to civilizations of the future, which are predicted to use energy from the sun and stars. There is so much more to come in the future, as Michio Kaku explains in chapter eight, Future of Humanity, of his book Physics of the Future. Kaku mentions types I, II, and III civilizations, saying that through generations, we will evolve from one type to the other. As stated by Kaku, "‍A type I civilization is planetary, consuming the sliver of sunlight that falls on their planet. A type II civilization is stellar, consuming all the energy that their sun emits. A type III civilization is galactic, consuming the energy of billions of stars". It is estimated that 10 billion watts will separate each type of civilization and also that we will reach a type I civilization in the next hundred years. As of now, our civilization is a Type o civilization because we are still getting our energy from oil and coal, however, our civilization is transitioning from Type o to Type I every day. All the while, we must remember the importance of the Internet. This is so important for our transition to a Type I civilization and enables humans to communicate with people across the world. With this new way of communication and such, English and Chinese are quickly becoming the top languages of the world and will most likely be the languages of the future. Because of the Internet, it is almost impossible for a country to completely filter the news, and people are able to know what is going on in other continents. Through technology advances, our civilization will progressively transition into a type I, II, and III civilization and we are just now beginning to see the slow but steady advancements towards Type I.



Key to the Future:

In chapter eight, Future of Humanity, Kaku informs us on what he believes to be the key to the future: Wisdom. In Kaku’s opinion, “Wisdom is the ability to identify crucial issues of our time, analyze them from many different points of view and perspectives, and then choose one that carries out some noble goal and principle.” In mentioning the Search for Wisdom, Kaku remarks that he thinks of science as a double-edged sword. Although science may be able to defeat terrible issues in our world, it is also quite capable of creating more and more problems at the same time which could be dangerous for future generations. What Kaku wants his readers to see is that the future is at our liberty. Nothing is completely certain, and so the future is ours to be created. Comparing the future to a “freight train barreling down the tracks, headed our way”, we realize that some are not ready for this change, and surrender to the future, wanting to lay down on its tracks. However, the reaction of the young people is excitement and eagerness to hop aboard this train and get going as fast as they can. We can only hope that this “sword of science” is used wisely. Our generation is the future and we need to be wise enough to realize our impact.


High Speed Train wallp long goodbye.png[4]


(Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence)

Just as young children are entranced by the thought of aliens, the human race has always wondered whether or not we are alone in the universe. For a long period of time, searches have gone on to try and find this out. In Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku goes more into this, saying that even though we have searched for extraterrestrial intelligence for about fifty years, not much has been found. He also believes that scientists might possibly find signals of intelligent life in the next hundred years, and even that it would be very odd if we were to find nothing from another civilization (Kaku, 2010). On a less optimistic note, many say that “SETI is like searching for a needle in a haystack”. However, Seth Shostak, author in magazine Sky and Telescope, argues that with the right tools, the search will be much easier. (Shostak, 2001). Nonetheless, I have found from further research that Kaku discourages the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), as we might find a civilization millions of years more advanced than us. If this were to happen, as Kaku says, “... the main danger we face from an advanced civilization is simply that we might get in their way.” In the same interview, Kaku compares the earth and such a civilization to a fruit fly versus Goliath because we would have almost no chance (Daily Grail, “Michio Kaku - Impossible Science”; 7th October, 2008). I, personally, do not share this passion for extraterrestrial life, and so I agree with Kaku. If we were to find a civilization that was more advanced than us, it could be the end.


Search for extraterrestrial intelligence.jpg[5]

Predicted Impact

Analyze the predicted impact on the economic, social, and political landscape if your three selected trends were to happen as you predict. Work with your team to cast a vision for what this would look like in the world. (Use the discussion tabs and commenting to facilitate discussions or speak to your teachers about direct contact with the other students if that will help.) This will form the basis of your movie creations so use your imagination but base it in fact and research from the book and beyond.


Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI):
For a period of time, the government supported NASA’s SETI project, however they abandoned it. This was because, for the most part, the project was not economical, as it did not provide jobs and, even though it did not receive much funding, Congress wanted to cut spending (Garber, 1999). While SETI might not be very economical, another issue is what might happen to the economy if ETI were to arriving in our civilization. Mainly focusing on the stock markets, this would depend on the situation. If extraterrestrials were to come to this planet peacefully, the market might rapidly decline until people realized that the extraterrestrials were of no threat to them, at which time it would rise. This would not last for long, however, as innovation might cease, in which case the market would become dormant. If extraterrestrials were to come with a violent approach, the stock market and commerce might very well shut down. Those who have invested in gold and silver coins could be lucky. In a last scenario, ETI would introduce all of their beliefs to us, which might change the way that the market works. Also, some parts of the economy would fail while others are hugely successful, which could cause problems (Rabinowitz, 2011). Although these are just theories, they could very well be true, however they are not set in stone and the future could be very different.

“The future is ours to create,” explains Kaku. In order to enhance our future, we should pursue the development of wisdom. While science has the power to give us more options, science can create a problem as it is solving another. Wisdom, on the other hand, is continually evolving your understanding of the big picture of life, of what is important, meaningful, and the desire or ability to apply this understanding to your life. Wisdom identifies what is really important in life and is not only self-serving but benefits all others around you. A wise person sees not only the trees but the forest-- the big picture. Our economy affects and is affected by every individual. We as a whole determine the economic impact of our future. We depend on wise decisions made by wise individuals to determine the fate of our future.

Types of Civilizations-
When making transitions to type I, II, and III civilizations, our economy will change drastically. Our society is currently watching the development of a planetary economy. Cultural trends are similar all over, an example being Justin Bieber. Every teenage girl in the world could probably tell you who Beiber is, whether they are a fan or not. These girls are reading close to the same magazines, listening to similar music stations, and watching the related TV shows that are talking nonstop about this teen idol. Around the world, we are all becoming familiar with the same things. The planetary economy is a big step in the transition from a type o to a type I civilization. Though it is predicted there will dips and problems, eventually our economies will improve tremendously. Soon a countries economy will be the main factor to the power they hold in the world. Countries with good economies will be the world super powers in the future for sure. We have seen this relationship between economies and power for countries for many years previous to today as well. Many are familiar of the fall of the Soviet Union, which is a great example of an economy gone wrong that ruined a country and caused great suffering for the country's people. Countries with bad economies will be completely overrun by thriving economic countries. In the future, a country's economy will be it’s greatest and most valuable weapon.


Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI):
Why have we not seen ETI if they exist? Among many others, this is a most frequently asked question about SETI, and also a paradox. Geoffrey W. Marcy, an astronomer, thinks that there can only be three solutions to this. Either aliens are scarce or SETI is very difficult and not worth it. Meanwhile, Frank Drake, astronomer and astrophysicist, believes that the answer to this paradox is the fact that interstellar travel is almost impossible. As he explains, if one were to go 10-12% the speed of light, hitting a pebble could make the entire spacecraft explode, so this would be very difficult and very dangerous. Another debate is whether or not we should begin trying to transmit messages. Stephen Hawking’s response to this is negative. “‘If aliens visit us... the outcome would be as much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.’” However, some claim that we cannot hide from ETI, so we might as well. To be brutally honest, this search could, and probably will, last centuries, if our civilization even survives that long. Some day, far into the future, we might finally learn that we are not alone (Folger, 2011).

Kaku explains in The Future of Humanity, “...democracy is not easy. You have to work at it.” Today, we keep much less to ourselves. We are less hesitant to share our problems with the world through various social networks on the Internet. Kaku says, “Dictators live in fear of the Internet, terrified of what happens when their people rise up against them.” Kaku believes that only those who are educated and well informed can make decisions on technologies that will influence our civilization's future. I agree; these types of people will decide how far to take technology. Only the knowledgeable and learned will make decisions wisely. We cannot be ignorant of the challenges we are bound to face in the future. Kaku explains, “The purpose of this book is to help start the debate that will determine how this century unfolds."

Types of Civilizations-
Our world will see an enormous change politically in the future. As we become more advanced as a civilization, we will transition from type I, II, and III statuses. Our advanced, future civilizations will redefine everything politically. Many will accept and embrace this transition, but others will not favor it. Terrorists and dictators will resist the transition towards a planetary civilization. Dictators will no longer be able to keep their people ignorant of what is happening throughout the world. With the internet, the national news, etc. it is impossible to keep information of the world from a civilization. Soon countries will realize what governments succeed, and democracy will spread across the globe. Kaku states, “...this march toward a Type I civilization is changing the nature of capitalism, and economic power is gradually shifting from national governments to regional powers and trade blocs.” Will there be a world government? Many fear a national government, but others believe it would be beneficial to all of the countries in the world. It is hard to predict what our world will come to politically in the future, but we know drastic changes are bound to occur and our national governments are likely to lose power.


Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI):
When the day comes where we find ETI at last (if that day comes at all), many speculate what the reaction of the public will be. The general thought of most of these people is that “confusion and excitement... but little panic or hysteria” would shake the nation; shake the world. Although people would most likely want more information and a message from the ETI, it would probably take years before they might receive this sort of information. Even if we were to receive a message from another civilization, it could take years upon years before we might be able to decode the information (SETI Institute, ). Some suggest that as the civilization would most likely older and more advanced than us, we might inherit answers to all of our questions (religious, philosophical, etc) and information that could help us grow and improve. It is possible that as a world, people might start thinking of themselves as one “human family” and this could encourage putting aside differences and stopping warfare (Tough, 2000). Maybe we will feel more a part of this universe because we will no longer be alone. “Although we are unique, we may be one of billions of civilizations in the universe (just as each person and each snowflake is unique, but is also one of billions)” (Tough, 2001). As a whole, we might hope to become a much improved civilization.


As mentioned in the book, Isaac Asimo has said, “ The saddest aspect of society right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” Since information is everywhere whether you’re searching for it or not, the most precious asset in society today is wisdom. Without wisdom, we are left without purpose after the sense of unlimited information wears off. Kaku states, “In our society wisdom is hard to come by.” Wisdom cannot be shared through the Internet as information is. You can search the answers to homework, but this does not make you wise. Knowledge is information of which someone is aware, while wisdom is the ability to make correct judgements and decisions. Wisdom is only gained through personal experience. Experience takes time; today’s society believes wisdom is obtainable overnight. Wisdom is timeless. One may gain or lose knowledge overtime. Wisdom truly is the key to our future. Wisdom used for the right cause will positively affect our world.

Types of Civilizations:

Many worry that our society will crumble when transitioning from a type o to type I civilization. It is has been said that this transition will be extremely dangerous, and many fear the thought of it occurring. Everyday we are coming closer to being classified as type I, but we haven't necessarily experienced drastic measures yet. What will life be like if we survive this transition? Social media has already shown the advancing steps to type I. During the 2012 London Olympics, there were more recorded tweets in one day then there were during the entire Olympics in Beijing. London was said to have been the first Social Olympics. In just four years, our technology had improved and advanced tremendously. Today we are able to communicate with people across the world with ease due to the internet. You will find that most people in the world are familiar with and like the same things as one another like singers, clothing lines, actors, etc. due to globalization. Through each transition between civilizations, communication across the world will become more advanced and better than ever thought possible. When we want to see someone, it will be no problem, due to holograms that will make us feel as if the person is right beside us. Our society will change so drastically that by the time we reach a type III civilization, it is very likely we will have colonies on the moon. It is hard to imagine the changes and advancements that are predicted to happen in our society, but eventually many of them will occur and change our world and lifestyles forever.

Essential Terminology

As you read the chapter, you are responsible to select 5 words that you'd consider important vocabulary for understanding the chapter. These words should be either words you do not already know the definition to or words you don't use on a regular basis. For each word complete the following. Each student must include 5 vocabulary words and draft the meaning and use it in a sentence but all students should work together to come to a final agreement on the word's meaning and sentences. The sentences should show an understanding of the word's meaning and be related to the topic. Use the comment feature for this.

Type I Civilization (Page 381 ):

A civilization that uses only a fraction of energy from the sun

Our transition to a Type I Civilization will show an enormous advancement in technology.

Type II Civilization (Page 381):

A civilization that uses all of the energy given off by the sun

When our civilization reaches the success of being labeled as a type II civilization we will no longer worry about destruction due to the fact that we will be so advance in technology we will be classified as immortal.

Type III Civilization (Page 381 ):

A civilization that uses energy from stars

By the time we reach the goal of being a type III civilization, it is likely that we will be living in space in colonies.

Thermodynamics (Page 399):

Science that works with energy from heat and mechanics.

The study of thermodynamics will help our advancement in technology for the future.

Globalization (Page 395):

Developing all over the world

Globalization occurs everyday and soon technology will be extremely advanced all across the whole world.

Humanity (Page 378):

Fields of study such as languages, literature, and art.

God created all of humanity.

Wisdom (Page 402):

Having knowledge and insight

The teacher gave her students wisdom by teaching them.

Innovation (Page 327):

Presenting new ways and methods

Innovation for the future is the best way to go.

Physics (Book Title):

A type of science dealing with matter, energy, and such

Newton's Laws of Motions are part of the study of physics.

Nanotechnology (Page 351):

Technology that deals with producing microscopic objects

Nanotechnology involves creating tiny structures by manipulating atoms and molecules.

Biotechnology (Page 351):

Living organisms and such used for the needs of humans

Agriculture is a type of biotechnology.

Calamitous (Page 379):

The results of their neglect of such pressing issues were calamitous.

Exploit (Page 379):
an honorable act

His exploits were greatly rewarded when he returned.

Quantitative (page 381):
able to be measured

There was quantitative evidence that he was guilty.

Bemoan (page 384):
to lament over

They bemoaned the death of their best friend.

Proliferation (Page 379):
a great increase

A proliferation in self-confidence is almost always good.

Team Members

Put your username or first name only and your school below. If your team designated you with a specific task like lead editor, copy editor, or another task that you want done on the page, please note that.

  • Callie S- Westwood Schools- Camilla, GA
  • Haley M- Westwood Schools- Camilla, Ga
  • Morgan H- Bettendorf Schools- Bettendorf, Iowa


Insert your references below using the footnote feature on the wiki. This should be included for any direct quotations or citations of studies. Remember that you should ALSO use a hyperlink in the sentence for the appropriate word.

Future of Humanity: Planetary Civilization


Insert a graphic or video that will interest someone in reading this page.

Essential Themes

  1. ^ http://www.history.com/shows/mankind-the-story-of-all-of-us/videos/future-of-humanity

    "Barry Schwartz:Our Loss of Wisdom." Barry Schwartz: Our Loss of Wisdom. N.p., Feb. 2009. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

    "The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel: Sci, Space, Tech." 'The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel: Sci, Space, Tech' N.p., 1 Aug. 2008. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

    "FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)." SETI Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

    Folger, Tim. "Space Contact: The Day After." ScientificAmerican.com, Jan. 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

    Garber, Stephen J. The British Interplanetary Society. Vol. 52. N.p.: n.p., 1999. 3-12. Print.

    Kaku, Michio. Interview. Big Think. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014. <http://bigthink.com/videos/the-birth-pangs-of-a-planetary-civilization>.

    Kaku, Michio. Interview. Daily Grail Frontpage. N.p., 07 Oct. 2008. Web. 26 Mar. 2014. <http://dailygrail.com/features/michio-kaku-impossible-science>.

    Marquezi, Dagomir. "Travel by Train." : Outubro 2013. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

    "SETI and the Singularity." 'The Futurist' N.p., 23 May 2009. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

    Shostak, Seth. "Magazine." Sky and Telescope. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

    "Social Implications a SETI Success." SETI Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

    Tough, Allen. "Positive Consequences of SETI Before Detection." N.p., 1995. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

    Wilson, Chris. "The Great Silence: Why Can't We Find Alien Life?" Slate Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

    Tough, Allen. "When SETI Succeeds: The Impact of High-Information Contact." Humanity Three Thousand, 2000. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

    Rabinowitz, Marco. "How Would an Extraterrestrial Arrival Affect the Markets?"Benzinga. N.p., 17 Dec. 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.
  2. ^ http://bigthink.com/videos/the-birth-pangs-of-a-planetary-civilization
  3. ^ http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_our_loss_of_wisdom?embed=true
  4. ^ http://viajedetrem.blogspot.com/2013_10_01_archive.html
  5. ^ http://www.singularity2050.com/2009/05/seti-and-the-singularity.html