Wow, there's a lot of information to get through in this thread. From a cursory skim-read it looks like there is a lot of interesting stuff I will have to read over later. Apologies if I am off base with any of my comments in light of this.
I completely agree with your summation that we need to switch over to using technology/robotics as a labour force and just give people the basic
necessities for life for free. I also like your idea of humans creating god through our evolution (Teleological ideas).
I do however think you are incorrect in your assumption that scarcity is necessary for our evolution. I think we can take the concept a lot further
and completely eliminate scarcity. I am talking a full-scale change the likes of The Venus Project (which was mentioned on this page of the thread),
so everything becomes free, not just the bare necessities. I am also talking about using renewable resources and/or whatever free energy technologies
we can come up with. I think that in such a world our entire perspective would be changed. Consider that for the entirety of our evolution scarcity
has been a reality. Now that we have the means to alleviate this scarcity on a planetary scale, we could collectively experience something completely
What need is there for an economy if we have free energy? Our entire perspective would change. IMO Ownership and the value of physical things would
become meaningless. The value would once again be placed back onto human life above all else. Top quality health care and education would be free for
every person, who not having to work could spend their times educating themselves and/or persuing their own personal development in whatever way they
desire (so long as it doesn't hurt other people or the environment).
Alternatively (and I think this is what you mean by -1 value), they could contribute to making the system work even better. You could come up with an
idea, join up with like minded people, experiment and implement the idea then distribute it freely to whoever else on the planet wants to also
implement it. The thing is this is actually adding value to the individual and the collective at the same time. Therefore the emphasis would be placed
on individual development and contribution to the whole. Meanwhile, every individual has an equally high standard of living, so its not like they are
sacrificing anything by doing this (they do it because they actually want to).
I think that these classifications of civilisations based on how well we can control the resources of larger and larger chunks of the universe is
entirely a projection of the idea of scarcity, which is what you are talking about in this thread. I think its a false assumption because once we
switch to an abundance based system then we will realise that its not necessary to consume and rebuild the universe.
As a race, we could unite towards the common goal of exploring space and potentially spreading to other planets. This would be made much faster IMO
than you suggest because the average standard of education would rise incredibly fast, meaning there'd be more people that could work on the project.
Resources would be free and as long as its sustainable you could easily move them to where they need to be. Nobody has to work so they can spend as
much of their time as they want working towards this goal. On a global scale, I doubt it would take more than 100 years considering the rate which our
technology is progressing within the limits of our current economic system. The biggest technological hurdle IMO would be to take the concept of
renewable energy and sustainability (in terms of having to bring a sustainable ecosystem with us if the journey will take a long time) into space
flight. Either that or aquiring FTL travel/wormhole technology and/or cryogenics to feeze ourselves for the voyage.
The big question in my mind is what's the incentive to actually manipulate/consume stars and black holes? Perhaps if it allows faster travel? IMO
this is the flaw in the logic of the classifications, because they are based on the need to consume energy as we do in our current economy - at a rate
faster than it is produced. It seems the assumption is an insanely massive human empire that decides to start changing things wholesale (like copying
planets?). There is almost literally an ocean of infinite renewable energy our there in space. Why could we not take a more minimalist approach and
just harvest what we need to colonise a whole lot of planets? On each planet we could also live sustainably for that ecosystem.
Then again, you are thinking way ahead in the future and admittedly I haven't given that much thought.
In summary I think that you are assuming that scarcity is necessary because that is all we have ever experienced. Of course we won't know unless we
try it, but I think that our entire perspective would change and so we would just come to accept abundance as the norm. We can then start to see the
universe as our playground rather than something to be fought against and conquered.
Great post though and like I said I will take the time to read it more thoroughly.