You will notice when looking at the tech levels that most of the worlds are functioning at a very low tech level for the far future.
This is because in a very real sense, tech level (TL) is about resources and production capacity. A world with a solid understanding of technology but without the population or industry capable of manufacturing it is rated with a low tech level.
A low tech world isn’t populated by stupid hicks. They know that other worlds can produce more advanced goods, and if it’s cost-effective to do so they will purchase them. If a low tech leader equips his guards with laser rifles, that doesn’t affect the world’s TL.
Tech level is a generalization. On many worlds some places are more advanced and on others one type of technology is more advanced. For an example, see Earth in 2014. We would rate a TL 8, but in the First World, our computers and communications are probably TL 9, spacecraft are TL 6. Other parts of the world are around TL 5 and there are even a few populations at TL 0.
Many worlds seem to end up at TL 4, where it’s possible for very basic life support systems and simple industrialization to maintain
some higher tech level equipment necessary for survival. A lot of failed colonies on inhospitable worlds end up at about TL 4 because if they drop below that all the people die.
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