A Technological Epoch or Tech Epoch is an unspecified length of sophontic time consisting of a generalized period of sequential, incremental technological development within an observed society or civilization.
Library Data Referral Tree
- Technological Research
- Technological Systemics
- Post-Technological Period
Tech Epochs are very useful as the relationship between technological development and societal organization are considered roughly interdependent, incremental, and sequential by most sophontologists.
- Environmental mastery leads to urbanization and the development of more and more sophisticated devices and vehicles. As the environment is mastered, and scientific knowledge is fostered, more capable communication and energy management technologies are developed.
- Increased mastery of the Three Prime Technologies most often leads to an interstellar society with time. However, many sophont societies never leave the first stage (...or Tech Period) of societal development. TL:1-9 is the technological ceiling for many civilizations.
- It is generally thought that the high end of TL-9 results in advanced FTL theory and the first jump drives. An advanced TL-9 society can grow into an interstellar society, but as a generality, the hallmark technologies do not mature and become widespread until TL:10-12.
Some sophontologists posit that a micro-singularity occurs at the end of every tech epoch, a technological revolution that upsets the status quo. Additional micro-singularities occur at the end of every tech period, creating even more significant paradigmatic change.
IISS Chronological Periodization
- Technological Age (1 TL) → Technological Epoch (3 TLs) → Technological Period (9 TLs) → Technological Era (30 TLs) → Technological Eon (31-33+ TLs) → Singularity (Post-Technological Period)
In the highly diverse section of the galaxy known as Charted Space, a very wide variety of technological civilizations exist and often coexist, which means that metrics and protocols had to be developed not only for surveyors and scouts, but also for merchant princes, explorers, and sophontologists... among others. Rough guidelines exist for every TL, but alien civilizations have a way of exceeding or defying benchmarks, so the much rougher Technological Epoch designation was invented by the IISS. It encompasses three TLs spanning a very wide period of development making classification much easier, especially after a first contact scenario when little might be known about a new sophont society.
So, for instance, a very early technology civilization containing technological benchmarks from TL-1, TL-2, and TL-3 capabilities, would be known as a TL:1-3 society. The epochs are grouped into batches of three and when a society contains a higher benchmark than a set grouping, the higher tech epoch is defaulted to. For instance a society that might intitially be judged as a TL:1-3 society is observed to have TL-4 technologies, so it would then be reclassified as a TL:4-6 society, or simply a TL-4 society if higher technologies (...TL-5 or TL-6) were not judged to be present.
It is a flexible and inexact measure of technological development.
Standard Polity Growth Sequence
- Proto-Society → Band Society → Tribal Society or Chiefdom → City-State → Nation-State → World-State → Pocket Empire → Interstellar State → Intergalactic State → Final State → Singularity
- Creature Existence
- Sophontic Civilization
- Ascendant Civilization
- Transcendent Civilization
|1.||Pre-existence||TL-Negative||A-life||Not much is known about the origin of life, which is conjectured to be abiogenesis, or life arising from where there was none. In this environment, no conventional life is theorized to have existed, but A-life, or pseudo life, is thought to have pre-existed conventional life.|
|2.||Creature Existence||TL-Negative||Primordial Soup||The first life is thought to have been exceedingly simple, probably acellular, pre-DNA, and almost unnoticeable. But it was conventional life, and later life built upon it. More sophisticated life evolved from these humble origins into sophisticated multicellular creatures. However, these creatures lack higher intelligence, civilization, and technology.|
|3.||Proto-civilization||TL-0||Proto-Society||The very first creatures to evolve multiple hallmarks of sophonce become known as Proto-sophonts, and they develop Proto-civilizations, recognizable by later sophonts as early societies with basic but fundamental technology. Proto-sophonts are classified as: TL–0.|
|4.||Sophontic Civilization||TL:1-27||Band Society → Tribal Society or Chiefdom → City-State → Nation-State → World-State → Pocket Empire → Interstellar State → Intergalactic State||Sophonts are sophisticated, highly intelligent technology-using species. They develop advanced technologies, cultures, societies, and civilizations. They actively seek to master themselves and their environment. They use a variety of technologies: (TL-1 to 27).|
|5.||Transcendent Civilization||TL:28-30||Final State||Transcendents have begun the transition to the Singularity. They control advanced technologies (TL-28 to 30) and have cultures and societies paradigmatically different from less advanced sophonts. Many such societies begin to explore alternate dimensions and pocket universes.|
|6.||Ascendant Civilization||TL:31-33||Final State||Ascendants are working towards an active transition to the Singularity. They control the most sophisticated technologies imagined by sophontdom (TL-31 to 33). In nearly every practical way but not in every effect, they have achieved omnipotence. The key technologies defining transcendents are temporal technology, reality manipulation, chronotaxis (time travel), and manipulation of time itself. Their powers are near limitless. Some lesser sophont species call them "space gods." They have goals and motivations near incomprehensible to less advanced beings.|
|7.||Singularity||TL:34+ Post-Technological Period (PTP)||Singularity||The Singularity is a very nebulous term for both black holes and a hypothetical condition of life beyond technology, civilization, and life itself as confusing as that may sound. Some call it the afterlife while others call it the Post-Technological Period. Some even think that it is a future stage of life when sophont and machine merge. There is scant evidence for it, but many thinkers hypothesize that it exists.|
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