The Kardashev Scale

I'm writing this post to present my position that it does not scale with the level of things that are being created on this wiki. As stated it is a means of ranking a civilization by measuring its power generation and usage capacity. It measures power consumption only, nothing more, and, because of that it scales only in relation to said power consumption. All other factors are ignored.

The scale works well as invented up to the Type 3 civilization with a power consumption of 1036 watts which is the approximate equivalent to the entire energy output of a galaxy. Each level in the scale increases by about 1010 the energy usage which means that a Type 4 civilization would be at about the 1046 watts usage which is the approximate equivalent to the entire energy output of the observable universe. So what is the problem here? The scale seems to work.

The problem is that this as been generalized into saying that a Type 4 civilization uses about the energy output of an entire universe. There is a possible big difference between the concept of observable universe and universe. Observable is a limiter to the concept of universe which defines a limited area of the universe that can be observed from our location in the present time with our current scientific knowledge and ability to do so. The current observable universe is not a static entity. Not only is said area constantly increasing in size with our ability to observe further away increasing regularly but the contents of that area are also decreasing over time due to the constant expansion of the universe which drives the galaxies to move further away from each other, including moving further away from us, at ever increasing speeds. The furthest away galaxies are moving away from us at speeds higher than the speed of light. Not because they are actually moving through space at those speeds but because space between them and us is actually expanding at such speeds and space is actually able to do that. So, the observable universe is not just dependent on our position but also on the time it is observed. We will observe more and more space with time and see less and less stuff on said space with time. This facts prove that the observable universe is not the same thing as the universe. There is more to the universe than what we can observe. Or at least there will be in the future. How much more we have no way of knowing, but we try.

According to our latest measurements (that I am aware of) it looks like the universe is plane. That there is no curvature to the fabric of space time. The measures taken have an estimated 0.4% margin of error. If that is the case the most probable explanation is that the universe is infinite. For the universe to be plane and non-infinite it must either have an edge or border, the proverbial end of the world, a fence with a sign saying no road ahead somewhere with the restaurant at the end of the universe. Another possibility is for it to have the shape of a non-curved solid with edges.

Taking for granted that there is more to the universe than the observable universe, there is very probably more energy in the entire universe than that present in the observable universe. How much more is hard or impossible to determine. But if the universe is infinite there is actually a chance of it containing an infinite amount of energy as well. The natural assumption is to think that the part of the universe we are able to observe is not special in any way and that the rest of the universe is, at least, somewhat like it. If that is the case, it is possible to say that a certain percentage of the universe is energy. And assuming an infinite universe, any percentage of infinity is also infinite. That shows that an infinite universe where the amount of energy on it is a percentage of its size will always have an infinite amount of energy. Only if the amount of energy inside a infinite universe is not relative to its size at all but a limited amount could it have less than infinite energy but that would require that the larger universe be very different than the part we are able to observe.

The implications of this is that a Type 4 civilization that uses 1046 watts of energy corresponds to a civilization using all the energy output of the observable universe but not of the entire universe. If one goes up even more on civilization types to Type 5 and above this difference becomes even more obvious. A Type 5 that is described as using the energy output of an entire multiverse with possible infinite universes actually uses less energy than the entire output o a single infinite universe. As do all civilizations with Type higher than 5 and lower than infinity. Only a civilization Type infinity would be able to use all the energy of an entire infinite universe.

So what am I saying, that the scale doesn't work? Actually no, the scale works as long as one does not try to impose some relation between the values of used energy and some cosmological feature. There are two possibilities to continue the scale in a way that works and is not inconsistent.

Either base the scale on the increasing values always adding 1010 watts more per level but ignore the labels. Accept that the first levels in the scale match well with the given labels but only by coincidence but that it won't continue to work like that after Type 3. In fact, after Type 3 the only labels that work will be group of superclusters for Type 4, super group of superclusters for Type 5 and so on giving each type more and more super prefixes or the likes but never reaching up to an entire universe, not to an infinite universe at least. Not until one gets to Type Infinity.

The other option is to ignore the values and base the scale on the labels alone. The regularity of the intervals between the values of the first 3 types of the scale is a coincidence that does not last after Type 3. Type 4 will already use the infinite energy output of an entire universe and Type 5, if it is to be at the multiversal level will have to use an infinity of infinite energy outputs. And it continues to increase at that rate, multiplying by infinite again with each level.

A third possibility is to change the meaning of the scale. Making it not about energy consumption any more. At Type 4 and above, the scale becomes about how much the civilization is able to break the laws of physics. With Type 4 requiring FTL as a minimum and the ability to deal and handle with an infinite space. It would also require the ability to function with possible different variations of the laws of physics, have the ability to generalize them into higher order laws and so on. A Type 5 will need to have the ability to break out of reality, get out of the universe into other universes and into the multiverse itself and it needs to be able to handle any number of infinities somehow. A Type 6 would need to be able to break out of even that, break out not just of reality but break out of the set of all realities into something larger and also be able to deal with an infinite set of infinite infinities. They would need to be able to deal with paradoxes and higher concepts in the same way we deal with physical laws. Extrapolating to a Type Infinity, such civilization would be able to deal with an absolute infinity in absolutely infinite ways. It would be able to handle the entire Cosmology at all levels of its hierarchy up to the uttermost top. Type Infinity would only be possible if there where an infinite level of higher order structures in the cosmology. Transcending the entire cosmology, possibly reaching into other cosmologies that do not exist in relation to their original one would be the top of the scale.

In my own cosmology that would correspond to a full control of their Imaginata and reaching out into and ruling over the Imaginarium. They would have power over all of imagination, not only theirs but ours (you and me and every other real people that exist in Reality) as well, over what we can or cannot imagine and how. But that is game over because the possibility of full control over it contradicts its very nature. To achieve that they would need to transcend even logic and the contradiction. After that, the only last possibility would be to reach into the Realium. That would correspond to a civilization that, up to that point, existed only in fantasy, transcending that and reaching into our reality. Imagine it coming out of our TV shows, movies and story books, out of the mind worlds of normal people like you and me. That would be the type of thing they would need to achieve to be able to reach this level. That would give them access or control over everything, the all that is the Omniumverse. But this last step would only be meaningful if the Realium is not just another Imaginata. If it is, control over the Imaginarium is the same as control over the Omniumverse and this last step does not exist.

All this only applies for infinite universes and multiverses containing an infinite number of universes and so on. For finite universes and multiverses with a finite number of universes it is still possible to calculate finite values of energy outputs and consumption. In that case the scale can be more naturally continued without problems. Although I believe that the numbers would be much larger than those presented. But they would also vary much more for, when dealing with finite universes, they could be of any size, from much smaller than the observable universe to that exact size to any one of an infinite number of possible universes with a finite size larger than that but smaller than infinity.