Rethinking the Kardashev scale - how to rank civilisationsThe Kardeshev Scale attempts to rank civilisations technological development based on energy use Kardashev scale - Wikipedia And this leads towards extreme predictions such as Dyson Spheres Dyson sphere - Wikipedia Let's back up a second to newer ideas about life. Life is now starting to be seen as a system of managing entropy, in which the cells harvests entropy to create the system of ordering the cell and outputs the entropy externally - see Taking this concept, that life itself is about harnessing energy to create order, and that entropy and energy are clearly related, since without energy there can be no change in order, one stage further to apply it to intelligence, in a universal way, reveals this; Intelligence is the same negentropic phenomena of living cells and organisms applied to the harnessing of energy outside of the organism, to change the surrounding environment to maximise order and minimise destructive entropy within the living organism. So, in effect, all life progresses towards higher intelligence if it can, and this manifests as engineering of the surrounding environment to minimise entropy of the living system. All intelligent civilisations will, for example, aim to develop the capabilities to survive catastrophe which represents entropy, such as identify rogue asteroids and comets and move them out of collision paths with their place of residence. Life is a complicated, but naturally emergent phenomena that appears to emerge under certain conditions. 1 is that the chemistry is in a stage far from equilibrium (the equilibria state for the human body is CO2 and water and N2 gas) that evolves in conditions of high energy flux (i.e. in extreme conditions such as the extreme thermocline of hydrothermal vents or via an electrically active atmosphere) and evolve as dissipative structures. Dissipative structures seem to naturally form in any system under stress, the universe seems to be a phenomena that gradually self organises to remove destructive energy to the emergent dissipative network. If we apply the organisation of energy / entropy principle in an ethical way that is more universal, in other words, not one that just benefits one intelligent, conscious species over another, then it could be said that the mission of the human race in universal terms is to protect the conditions for the further evolution of all complex life, not just us, which represent similar self organising, negentropic systems as us. There is no value of another intelligent creature destroying us in that case as we collectively benefit by adopting such a universal rule, until that time of course, where over population causes scarcity that efficiency cannot resolve which may be far into the future. Efficiency limits the land and resources and energy needed by a civilisation, therefore its tendency towards war and conflict should also be efficiency dependent. This goes beyond just how much energy we can harvest, as in the Dyson spheres, but more about how efficiently we use energy, and not just energy, but materials. The Kardeshev scale needs to be modelled around efficiency not just energy use, and material use, not just energy. A Dyson sphere makes no sense, as there is literally nothing you can materially do with all that energy at that location. Its simply converting one type of energy to another (heat). Unless it applies to the reorganisation of the physical environment, and hence entropy, it serves no purpose. A more practical scale of technological stages of development would be how the organism can manage the sources of entropy from outside - that is, limits war, and masters the physical environment so it is not limited to particular places. This means how triphibious it is - by this I mean, does the civilisation have such a mastery of its local environment, by materials and energy, that it can support itself on land, sea, air / space? Since intelligence can be redefined as the management and control of destructive entropy from outside the living organism, then it also means the technological capacity to live in space, on other worlds and travel about such places, is a useful yardstick to measure its development. When thinking about civilisations in terms of their management of entropy, in some senses we have advanced in the last few hundred years, but its also relevant to think about sustainability. Organising entropy is about the ongoing process of managing risks and threats to complex life, not just in the present. A short term gain for the organism whilst damaging the future productivity of soils, would overall be detrimental in terms of entropy. Being able to prevent unsustainable population growth (or decline), create stable economic systems, avoid war and managing the environment not just for short term gains but long term gains, which are far larger if they are very prolonged, would be markers of higher development in a rational Kardeshev scale. In effect, sustainable and lower conflict systems score higher when measured over longer time frames. Some farming practices hundreds of years ago may have been more sustainable than now, for example, in terms of maintaining soil quality. Aliens may for example evolve to have minimal demands on land. A photosynthetic alien with suits that emit light to provide energy and oxygen makes them much more adaptable to different environments and require less resources (dramatically, in theory). This not only allows a high population density but would reduce the requirement of resources that may threaten the overall environment, which would increase entropy, and hence survival and ongoing development of that life form. A note on war - war can be thought of as the deliberate creation of entropy in an enemy. The only circumstance where a 'just' war can be conceived is when an enemy threatens the overall system and it aligns with the principles above in the act of neutralising them, and there is no alternative.