Hi. I was wondering if there should be a section mentioning that the Borg are amoral (as referenced by Arturis). That is, they are neither treacherous nor benevolent; they will kill only when necessary. Arturis didn't blame the Borg any more than he'd blame a "force of nature". Chakotay also tangentially referenced the amorality of the Borg when he told the story of the scorpion and the fox. He didn't think them capable of acting in a way outside "their (amoral) nature". Even an evil, say, Romulan would act cooperatively if it were in his best interest: The Borg could not. (They couldn't resist trying to assimilate the inconsequential Voyager even when they were losing billions of drones in their 8472 war, despite it being in their better interest to cooperate fully.)

The Borg wouldn't care to seek revenge, torture, or commit other "evil", immoral actions. But neither would they commit moral, "good" actions, such as helping others. They are just amoral.

I think this is not speculation because we have at least one on-screen description of them this way (there may be more that I'm forgetting.)

--Cepstrum 12:20, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

Can we add sections to this article?

The article has become quite long, and, IMO, has several natural section breaks. These include the first paragraph/intro, the Borg's quest for perfection, their quasi-religious view of particle 010 (Omega Particle), Borg Ethics and Morality, Background Notes, and External Link(s).

Can we discuss this here on the talk page instead of undoing my edits and indirectly discussing it via the "history" section of the article? Thanks! --Cepstrum 11:30, October 4, 2010 (UTC)

At least an introductory paragraph should be placed before any section header, as that is the norm for our articles (and I'm not yet convinced we need the others). Also, "external links" should be off-site links about the same topic, not some "external see also". -- Cid Highwind 15:14, October 4, 2010 (UTC)

Introduction problems

The current intro reads

The philosophy of the Borg Collective can be summarized as a determination to use any methods necessary in order to pursue a perceived state of perfection. Toward this end, the Borg, originating as wholly organic lifeforms, augmented themselves, beginning just after birth, with synthetic systems and organs, allowing them to achieve heights of physical and intellectual capacity undreamed of by most purely biological species.

I think this really needs to be reworded. For example, the phrase "beginning just after birth" is unclear. What it's supposed to mean is that the Borg place their infants in maturation chambers and begin fitting them with cybernetic implants soon after the infants' birth. The current way makes it sound that infant Borglings begin augmenting themselves, which they don't. I have a few problems with some of the other prose as well. I will try to rework it a little and post the results below when finished. If there are not any objections, I'll then make the change (after a delay). --Cepstrum 11:38, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

I would like to replace the original intro above with the following:

The principal philosophy of the Borg Collective was a drive towards achieving a state of "perfection" for themselves and, in their view, all life. The Borg attempted this chiefly by two means. Their most typical method was augmenting their organic bodies, beginning at birth, with synthetic systems and organs. This allowed them to achieve heights of physical and intellectual capacities far beyond that of most purely biological species.
Their other method was the assimilation of other lifeforms and technologies to enhance the biological and technological distinctiveness of the Collective. Assimilation could occur on a small, individual scale but often comprised the assimilation of entire species and their worlds. (VOY: "Dark Frontier", "Hope and Fear" et al.) The advantages gained by assimilating alien species and technology was the primary (and perhaps only, see VOY: "Scorpion") method by which the Borg could innovate and evolve: they would then distribute such new benefits and knowledge throughout the Collective via a network of a collective consciousness. Thus, by combining the advantages of myriad species, they sought to bring themselves and the rest of life closer to an integrated, homogeneous, perfected state. A not inconsequential side effect of this was the elimination of the individuality and autonomy of its members ("drones") and thus a fierce resistance to the Borg by all other species.
While in general the Borg would try to assimilate most or many species, they were in fact highly discriminating with respect to which species they would assimilate: those deemed unfit for enhancing the Borg Collective were either ignored or, if they posed a threat, destroyed. (VOY: "Mortal Coil")
When summarizing their worldview and its effects in a general terminology, the entity Q described the Borg as "the ultimate users," and their chosen targets for assimilation as things "they can consume." (TNG: "Q Who"); (Star Trek: First Contact)

I'll leave both versions up here in the talk page and replace the intro with the below, revised version. If anyone objects, please let me know why (and of course feel free to revert to the former version.) Even if you don't care for most or all of the changes, I do believe I was able to improve the prose in certain parts. I hope we can at least retain those changes. --Cepstrum 12:17, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

PS I was going to leave both versions up here for a while to let others weigh in, but I'll try to follow advice given to me and just "be bold" and make the change. It can always be reverted easily. And I tried to preserve the original text when possible.

Citation Issues

I'm creating this section based on what Archduk3 pointed out was a lack of citations. The above section is more for discussing the actual changes I made to prose, organization, etc., to the intro. Plus, he noted the entire article is bereft of citations. I hope I'm not violating talk page etiquette by doing so!

Here is the moved discussion:

"This allowed them to achieve heights of physical and intellectual capacities far beyond that of most purely biological species."
Where does this come from? Pepe Le Pew could out hop a Borg, I would hardly call that the height of physical capacity. Also, the whole "far beyond that of most" line is also suspect, since at best the Borg are just "improving" on what was already there. As for the mental side, I definitely require a cite for that. These problems aren't just limited to that one sentence either. Every single assertion needs a cite, so generally there shouldn't be a paragraph that doesn't end with a cite. That's not to knock just this section either, the entire article is sorely under cited.
Also, citations should al be in one set of brackets, (Star Trek: First Contact; TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds", "Q Who") instead of (Star Trek: First Contact); (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds", "Q Who"). - Archduk3 12:56, October 5, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. I completely agree. In fact, the phrase you noted was in the original, which is why I left it. I actually think it's a little long, but my goal was to improve the text, add links (I added many), and retain as much as what had been there for, AFAIK, a long time.
Perhaps you could put in "citation needed" tags in places you deem necessary. Then I could either provide the citation or remove the phrase. How's that sound? I think we could make a good collaborative effort to improve if you put the citation needed tags and I then fix them. Are you up for that? If not, I could try doing it by myself, but it would take me much longer (it's hard to edit on the iPod, and I'm not very familiar with MA's citation policy. It'd be a great learning experience for me.
Best regards,
--Cepstrum 14:32, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

Note: in the meantime, based on the above comments from Archduk3, I added a "citation(s)-needed" template message. I'm neither sure it was the right thing to do nor if I put it in the proper location. Please edit/remove as necessary. --Cepstrum 14:47, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

Citation still a problem?

I did a massive overhaul, adding links, removing a lot of speculation, rewriting sections. I'm trying to get the "pna-cite" tag removed. What do you think? --Cepstrum 15:59, October 11, 2010 (UTC)

I removed it as the citations as a whole look OK. If anyone objects to particular statements they can mention it here or add a Citation needed tag.– Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 03:16, October 12, 2010 (UTC)

Does this belong?

The following quote etc. from Q was left in from a much earlier version. I didn't see quite how it fits or its relevance, so I added background comments after it. I'm not sure either belong. Thoughts? Here it is:

When summarizing their worldview and its effects in a general terminology, the entity Q described the Borg as "the ultimate users," and their chosen targets for assimilation as things "they can consume." (TNG: "Q Who"); (Star Trek: First Contact)

It is unclear what Q meant by "ultimate users". In addition, the Borg later seemed to change their goal of assimilating that which "they can consume" to a much more discriminating selection process. This could be explained by the time lag between the events in "Q Who" and "Mortal Coil" and a subsequent change in the Borg's philosophy and/or assimilation techniques.

Should we just remove all of it? Is it necessary?

--Cepstrum 14:59, October 12, 2010 (UTC)

For the Cause

I reckon that, in this article, we should include info from DS9: "For the Cause", in which Michael Eddington says the following to Captain Sisko:

"Why is the Federation so obsessed about the Maquis? We've never harmed you, and yet we're constantly arrested and charged with terrorism. Starships chase us through the Badlands and our supporters are harassed and ridiculed. Why? Because we've left the Federation, and that's the one thing you can't accept. Nobody leaves paradise. Everyone should want to be in the Federation. Hell, you even want the Cardassians to join. You're only sending them replicators because one day they can take their rightful place on the Federation Council. You know, in some ways you're worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You're more insidious. You assimilate people and they don't even know it."

I realize that much of this concerns the Maquis, but hopefully the Borg material can be used here(?) I'd include the info myself, if I was sure how to phrase it! --Defiant 01:18, October 13, 2010 (UTC)

Good catch, Defiant! I'd be happy to try to work that in. I was going to hold off editing the article for a day or two, just to give you et al. the chance to correct my stuff, add your own stuff, and to avoid the appearance of an "edit war". If you'd like to incorporate it, go ahead. Otherwise, let me know if you don't mind me trying in a day or two.
Also, I wanted to change back just one of the many (helpful) edits you made. You changed the clarifying parenthetical state following Arturis's mention from "that is..." to "that was...". I believe the former is correct. Initially I'd put "ie" but decided to spell it out. It needs to read "that is" because it's a clarifying statement, not a past-tense POV thing. But I didn't want to immediately go in and change it (for obvious reasons).
Plus, I'm an exclusive mobile user and am tied up trying to make CSS adjustments to the mobile skin. I don't know CSS, so when I change one portion to get a part of MA readable, I find then I've made another part unreadable! (right now I cannot really see the revision logs. So if you'd rather take over editing the article, feel free; I can go back to experimenting with CSS. Otherwise, I'll put an "in use" tag on it, edit it offline, and try to incorporate the very salient Eddington quote etc you noted. We need more than just a bunch of VOY references: a DS9 reference would be nice (I just happen to be most familiar with VOY). That way we'd have refs from TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT, and FC. Cool! Let me know what you'd prefer. --Cepstrum 12:48, October 13, 2010 (UTC)

Finally added Eddington section

Defiant (et al.),

I added a section in the background wherein I tried to incorporate your good point about Michael Eddington's rather unfavorable comparison of the UFP's philosophy of "assimilating to that of the Borg.

I hope it's satisfactory! --Cepstrum 00:34, October 15, 2010 (UTC)

Arturis and "ie"/"that is"/"that was"

I changed the Arturis reference to past tense, because the article about him reads "Arturis is presumed to have been assimilated" - i.e., he did exist but likely does no longer. Furthermore, the stated opinion was his, during his encounter with Voyager; even if he survived after the events of that episode, he may have revised his opinion. Therefore, it seems to make more sense for it to read "that was" rather than "that is". --Defiant 09:02, October 14, 2010 (UTC)

I see your point, though I just happen to disagree. ^_^ I think it's an idiomatic expression without respect to tense; the "destroyed" makes it clear it was in the past. The "that is" just explains that, to him, his people were destroyed (past tense).
How about this for a compromise (it's how I had originally worded it):
(that is, destroyed),
or better yet,
(that is, "destroyed")?
That way we remove a direct reference to his POV. Instead, it just clarifies – to the reader – that the mass assimilation of his people was essentially equivalent to their destruction. That was the reason I put it in there in the first place: to inform the reader that the assimilation of a species was really no different from their destruction (except, perhaps, from the POV of the Borg!). The phrase is complete without the parenthetical statement and I believe saying it either way,
(that is/was, to him, destroyed),
is too cumbersome. Furthermore, "that was" as a "past tense" of the device "ie/that is" is not used (or very seldom used) in English and is unclear. I'd prefer just a simple,
(that is, destroyed).
Or even reword it entirely to note just a few tens of thousands survived and let the reader draw the obvious conclusion instead of explicitly stating it. That might be best.
What do you think?
Regards! --Cepstrum 14:59, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
PS: please let me know if you want me to try working the DS9/Eddington reference comparing the UFP to the Borg. If so, I'll put an "in-use" tag on it, add it offline, and release it sometime soon (I hope!)


Defiant (et al.),

I changed the text in contention to this:

(in essence, wiped out)

How does that sound? I think it solves my issue of using "that was" instead of "ie/that is" while also ensuring that a past tense POV is unmistakably preserved. You agree? (Not trying to say you should or have to, just hoping it's something that satisfies all. Feel free to improve it, of course!)

--Cepstrum 01:26, October 15, 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I like this method best. Good work, Cepstrum! :) --Defiant 07:10, October 15, 2010 (UTC)

Few, what a relief! Thanks a lot for the positive feedback, Defiant. I need it. In fact, this represents my first "success" in coming to a solution on an article via dialogue on a talk page, which is something I've been very anxious to do! (I've only just begun making real additions/edits to a couple articles.)

Defiant, you've made my day! I'm always thinking poorly of myself and edits; you have no idea what a nice statement like yours means to me. ^_^

I hope we (et al.) continue to have productive dialogue here to get this in good shape. I'd really like to polish this (admittedly obscure and low-importance) article up to a high standard.

I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback on my addition of Eddington's UFP-Borg philosophy comparison, as per your excellent suggestion, which has allowed the article to have references to all four Borg-containing series, as well as FC. (Please see the section I added about it on the article and on this talk page.) --Cepstrum 12:29, October 15, 2010 (UTC)

"Cramped references"?

It seems I managed to get this article into the very select club of "articles with cramped references" category. Apparently this automatically occurs when there is a line containing five or more references. By my count, this occurs twice. I can try to rectify this, but if someone can beat me to it or think s/he can do a more efficient job than I (after all, it was I who got the article this dubious distinction), then please feel free to "be bold" ^_^

Actually, I'm not sure why having five or six references warrants such a penalty. It must be something I missed in the guidelines. Hmm. Oh well: I want this article to succeed, so I or someone will have to pare down those refs. I've been editing it a lot recently, so I think I'll hold off to avoid the appearance of impropriety – I don't want to give the impression that I "own" the article! I should give others a chance to alter things. If, however, after a reasonable time has lapsed and it still needs fixing, I'll jump back in.

--Cepstrum 02:04, October 15, 2010 (UTC)

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