The Kardashev Scale is used to judge a sentient species on their level of advancement based on technology. The scale focuses on how said species harnesses energy and resources, deeming it to be one of three types as seen in the picture above. There are some real world implications to this scale and how we can measure ourselves to this technology curve.
It's not a perfect measurement, considering harnessing energy isn't always as simple as using a Dyson Sphere to turn the sun into a giant generator. Cold Fusion has been a dream of physicists for years. So if we could generate our own power without harnessing galactic energies, how useful would this scale be?
Yet something interesting happens when you take the idea behind the Kardashev Scale and you bend it a little bit. How do we measure the intelligence of a sentient species? Can we? Technology can advance in so many ways. As of now, we've really only seen our way of advancing technology.
If we ran into a space-faring species tomorrow, what would their technology look like? Would it be similar to ours? Would they seek to make everything smaller and more compact like we do? What if a society valued larger structures rather than smaller ones? What if they had their own benefits and downfalls? What would those structures look like?
How does a technology curve change the evolution of a species? Can our habits based on technology and what becomes more available to us lead us in a new evolutionary direction? How is our own technology curve effecting our evolution? What about organic computing? Could we evolve to link with an organic computer?
Obviously there are far too many other questions to be asked. Not unlike most major scientific discoveries, the Kardashev Scale did at least one very important thing for the science community. It made us ask questions.