Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for the Borg



Cyborgs represent the combining of the biological and the synthetic.  They are a complex amalgam of flesh and metal, and have frequently been viewed in science fiction with unease.  The Borg from the Star Trek universe are a prime example of this.

The Borg add to their numbers through assimilation.  This assimilation process bears a striking similarity to Colonialism.  The invaders, in this case being the nanoprobes, spread throughout the host’s body, sprouting implants and erasing the host’s autonomy.  They rid them of emotion.  This is the kind of invasion that frightens us most.  The kind that purges us of our freedom, wiping away that which distinguishes us.  That which makes us unique.  This is reminiscent of the way invaders have operated in the past, subjugating indigenous peoples and replacing their cultures with the culture of the conquerors.

In science fiction, we often see technology as that which destroys our humanity.  Is this really how it will turn out to be?  As we devise implants to regulate bodily functions that have gone awry, to treat conditions that would otherwise be devastating, or to hook in to technology in more intimate ways for our own pursuit of pleasure, are we truly sacrificing a piece of our humanity in the process?  As we engage the world in increasingly technological ways, are we changing what it means to be human?




20 comments:

  1. I dont worry about purging ourselves of our humanity (positive and negative) with implants etc... the borg have a conciousness change that we dont experience from such endeavors... if anything it is often for the positive in feeling more "like ourselves" after long fought fatigue of illness. I love the borg though... well star trek anyway...

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  2. It's frightening to think we might go the way of the Borg. I mean, who wants to ride in cube shaped ships?!!

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  3. Reminds me of Adam from Buffy. Wouldn't want Borgs to happen, it doesn't sound like fun at all.

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  4. You can't go wrong with Borgs for "B", but I definitely don't want Borgs to exist in my lifetime!

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  5. YES, we are. For example, I love the internet as much as the next guy but it is costing people jobs all over the world. And cars that park themselves are just the first step - did you know that inventors have created cars that drive themselves? Technology isn't all it's cracked up to me. Sometimes I wish we'd go back to the horse and buggy days - except I get to keep my dishwasher.

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  6. Since Aerodynamics doesn't matter in space, it makes parking easier if everyone has the same shape ship.

    I love the Borg and all it represents. It was a good villain for Star Trek, going against everything Gene Roddenberry set out about the future. It wasn't just an attack on our individuality, it was an attack on our humanity.

    http://www.chrisvotey.com/writing/blog/category/a-to-z-challenge/

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  7. Just stopping by to wish you luck with the challenge!

    A to Z: deborahdera.com and writingforpeanuts.com

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  8. If the technology doesn't steal our humanity and make us all zombies, the pharmaceuticals will. Either way, we're screwed.
    leelyonsauthentic.blogspot.com

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  9. I am a Trekkie of the least grade, but it is a fascination about borgs.
    On Voyager, 7 of 9 was one of my favorite characters and the actress one of my favorites also. Enjoyed your post.

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  10. Very thought provoking since technology seems to be leaping forward at warp speed. Also, thanks for reminding me of one of my favorite TV programs back in the day.

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  11. Interesting. I don't know that I'd want it in real life but I do enjoy the occasional one in my reads and have run across a few heroes/heroines that were. I always enjoy that. Does make you think though.

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    ~Anna
    My A to Z.

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  12. Alls I know is that Resistance is Futile!

    Happy A to Z-ing. See ya 'round the web. All Things Kevyn

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  13. I guy could be nothing but a pinkie and I say he's still human. Food for thought.

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    1. I meant the post is food for thought L.G. :)

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  14. The invasion of the Borgs is one of my favorite Star Trek sagas.
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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  15. I think this will be the question of questions for a long time to come - who will know what the answers will be until we get there. I am both intrigued and scared by it.

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  16. Being a cyborg myself, I relate to this post. I'm still waiting to become self aware though :)
    ~Katie
    www.thecyborgmom.blogspot.com

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  17. I came to know about Cyborgs very recently and the idea fascinated me so much.. Good post on Cyborgs.. Please do visit my post about a very famous cyborg - Neil Harbisson - http://moontimetunes.blogspot.in/2013/07/the-third-eye-that-hears-about-neil.html

    GS at Moontime Tunes

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  18. My kids JUST watched the very first episode with the Borg ("Q-Who"). They now want to see every single Borg episode there is!!

    My wife and I watched TNG all through college and now it is great to share it with our kids.

    --
    Timothy S. Brannan
    The Other Side, April Blog Challenge: The A to Z of Witches

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  19. While I absolutely love the Borg for entertainment purposes, I really don't think machines will ever become sentient, unless we find a way to upload the human brain into a robot in order to live forever. In that case, I think we will have devised a way to mimic the human brain to the point that it will basically be human, and hold a consciousness that already exists. Getting a little more creative, perhaps it will be possible for a new spirit to jump into one of these advanced robots, sort of like a baby being born. I just don't think it will ever be some evil soulless thing, like a robot zombie... although that's a really fun idea for a movie. :)

    Random Musings from the KristenHead — B is for 'Believe' (and Behold the Beguiling Beauty of the Beach)

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