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Library Of Temple

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posted on Apr, 11 2007 @ 02:40 AM

From Earth, it may appear that there is "Us" and "Them". But "They" represents a vast and diverse variety of civilizations spanning millions of years or more of history. Over such time spans, things change quote a lot.

This is a general classification system for levels of advancement for a civilization. There is not a sharp dividing line between each order or degree of advancement. Even at our current stage, over a hundred years has gone by and we are far from peak.

These orders do not preclude a civilization from acquiring more advanced technology by means other than inventing it themselves. It is a simple fact that doing so will not transform a civilization overnight. The invention of the internal combustion engine did not instantly cover the earth with paved roads. If aliens gave it to us a century earlier, it would have been more trouble to exploit than it could solve.

You may already be familiar with some similar systems from fiction or speculative science. I invite such commentary. This is my system that I refer to in my own work going back over 20 years and any similarity to any other system is coincidental.

ZEROTH ORDER - having no technology to travel through space. Humans were pure ZEROTH ORDER up until the early-to-mid-20th century. Today, the average person in this civilization is still not capable of traveling through space, so even though we have the technology, it is still in it's infancy. Only powerful governments and the wealthiest of wealthy can afford space travel. We are still technically ZEROTH ORDER, but have made the first steps into FIRST ORDER.

FIRST ORDER - Rockets and other inertial propulsion (ion), which are effectively confined to the solar system. You must expect to go through the process of being a FIRST ORDER intelligence before moving on to SECOND ORDER. Essentially you must fulfill most of Tsiolkovsky's Plan of Space Exploration from a hundred years ago.

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, one of the founders of rocketry, spelled out what it means to be a FIRST ORDER intelligence. The peak of FIRST ORDER would necessarily involve permanently occupying at least some of the more attractive bodies of our own solar system, like oh, say Mars, Europa, Triton.

SECOND ORDER - Since you must surpass the peak of FIRST ORDER, the first faster-than-light spacecraft will be *designed* and built in space. Design is an important aspect. A FIRST ORDER civilization will locate many of its advanced industries in orbit or further away to take advantage of things like zero-g and vacuum and privacy, and if Average Joe's work in space, they'll live in space too. You're going to have power systems that are far too risky to experiment with near Earth. Now what I've just described is really a FIRST ORDER intelligence getting a foothold on SECOND ORDER.

There is actually an upper limit to how fast you can go with your "basic" FTL propulsion, and it's not Warp 10. It has to do with the fact that space is "cluttered" and non-uniform and consequently the speed limit varies from region to region. It also means there are places in the galaxy you just can't go using this technology. A map of the galaxy would be drawn in terms of rifts and mazes not unlike rivers and seas on a map of Earth.

Regardless, the peak of SECOND ORDER technology would allow you to explore a significant portion of the galaxy. The ability to establish colonies depends on the availability, occupation of, and resistance of the occupation of Earth-like planets. Unlike FIRST ORDER intelligences who know they're alone in their home star system, SECOND ORDER intelligences face diplomatic challenges and inevitable hostilities. This does not imply evil aliens. Hostility is simply the product of one individual or civilization being unwilling to make the effort to understand another, compromise, or share. Things we all learn in kindergarten and forget in Ego School.

[Mod Edit: All Caps title]
Mod Edit: The use of All-Caps – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 11-4-2007 by sanctum]

posted on Apr, 11 2007 @ 02:41 AM
THIRD ORDER - Since you must surpass the peak of SECOND ORDER, the ... wait, what technology are we talking about here? Yes, like you already have a complete understanding of FTL. This is faster than that, plus you can go places you couldn't with FTL. But since you can't go to theses places now anyway, why worry about it? Think of it like this: FIRST ORDER is like a raft or canoe, SECOND ORDER is like a sailing ship, THIRD ORDER is like an aircraft, and FOURTH ORDER is like the Internet.

The first THIRD ORDER propulsion system will be developed in another star system. Not what you would call a colony. That would be like calling the United States a colony today. Is Area 51 a colony?

The real advantage of THIRD ORDER isn't getting to every hidden place in the galaxy though, it's getting out of the galaxy. The peak of a THIRD ORDER intelligence might be as much as exploring half the known universe.

FOURTH ORDER - So, how do you surpass an intelligence that can explore half the universe? As a species transitions from THIRD to FOURTH, they rely less and less on spacecraft to take them places. It's pretty much an instantaneous process. All the space between stars and galaxy is exactly that, space. It's really big and empty and as you might guess not that interesting, so why waste time hoofing over it?

The Messenger


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