The issues of the Kardashev are of intriguing and probably important, but the question of ‘civilization’ and ‘physics’ suffers from a reductionist framework. The energy requirements for larger and larger civilizations begs the question of being able to do with less, not just more. The planetary economy expands, and the Amazon forests are gone. Is the solution an expansion of energy scale to expand the sphere of devastation?
Would really advanced civilizations need to travel to other stars? Isn’t the ‘soul’ factor, beyond physical knowledge, a much simpler space ship? This ‘criticism’ merely exposes this thinking as gedanken experiment…all to the good, and what are the energy requirements of Frodo the Hobbit’s shire, and is the edifice of the Dark Lord a Type I,II, or III civilization?
The obvious problem arises that human psychology doesn’t advance even as physics advances. Science can’t get man straight, can’t get evolution straight.
And a look at WHEE’s study of history shows that man can’t get history straight. The latter is forgivable: it takes time to observe the dynamics of civilizations evolving. And the process seen can’t resolve to physics, or causal science.
We can see that controlling civilizations requires more than energy computations: we must study the way the larger ‘evolution’ of nature generates the clear dynamics of the macro effect in world history. If we can’t understand that having unlimited energy will be pointless. It is not the road to anything remotely like a ‘superman’.