I’m only a little bit of a science fiction, and speculative science fan. So, I found the Kardashev scale new and interesting.
I’ve started to think about this more based on the work of people like Robin Hanson and Aubrey de Gray, and ideas like I put into this post about whether we could build a Death Star in within 500 years.
Anyway, Kardashev came up with a scale of technological advancement on an interstellar scale. At Kardashev Level I, a civilization harvests all the energy on its planet (we’re a few hundred years away from this), while in Kardasheve II, a civilization harnesses all the energy from its star.
One way to do this would be with a Dyson Sphere, in which case that civilization might just wink out of visibility. Humans are estimated to be about 3,000 years from that point.