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Tuesday: February 22, 2005

Blogosphere = Borg Collective? A Dr. Weevil Reprint

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:48 PM UTC

Ted Rall has just figured out that the Blogosphere has some resemblance to the Borg. Some of us were on to that years ago. Here’s something I wrote three years ago next Thursday:

This is probably not an original thought, but I haven’t run across it elsewhere yet, so here goes:

How is Blogworld like the Borg Collective? Let me count the ways:

  1. We’re all linked together into one immense super-brain-like network. The whole is far more intelligent than the sum of its parts, though some of these are pretty smart to begin with.
  2. Communication between the parts is near instantaneous.
  3. Our self-correcting arguments resemble the self-repairing starships of the Borg. If someone who shall remain nameless thought that an old-journalism story’s mention of “Mt. Arafat” in Mecca was a typo for Mt. Ararat, well it didn’t take long to correct, did it?
  4. If you want to know who made that mistake, who corrected it, where, and when, you can find out easily enough. There’s no more privacy in the Blogosphere than in a Borg cube.
  5. We’re always assimilating new individuals to gain new perspectives. Droves of bellicose women, Libertarian deer-hunters from Kolkata (the city formerly known as Calcutta), newly-right-wing punksters in mourning: all are welcome.
  6. In order to survive, bloggers, like Borg drones, must plug into specialized blogging terminals to regenerate at least once a day. The nourishment is purely electronic, but more vital than ordinary gastrointestinal alimentation. (A quadruple-espresso intravenous drip is obviously the next step, at least for those without regular jobs to go to. Then we’d never have to leave the keyboard.)
  7. Unless I missed that episode, Borg drones don’t seem to be paid any salary for their brutal and strenuous lives of exploration, information-gathering, and conquest.
  8. Most important, our mighty collective empire is a threat to the very survival of puny monocephalic (single-headed) and monoencephalic (single-brained) organisms like the Chomskyites and the Fiskians. These vicious but technologically-inferior species either wander their pleasant little green planets (or campuses) in a daze, wondering what hit them, or are so oblivious that they deny that anything bad has happened to them. (By the way, do Robert Fisk’s encounters with the Blogosphere remind anyone else of the Pakleds’ encounters with the starship Enterprise? For those who have forgotten, Pakleds are a race of slow-talking limited-vocabulary intergalactic retards who kidnap Lt. LaForge on Star Trek Next Generation, but are tricked into returning him unharmed with an impressive display of bright-colored gas. That particular episode doesn’t seem to come up in the reruns as often as the others. I suppose it’s considered insensitive.) In short, Resistance Is Futile. Non-blog journalists can either assimilate or die. The same goes for the music industry, but that’s another story.
  9. Not least, bloggers are all nerds, and nine readers out of ten knew exactly what I meant by that Pakled comparison before I explained it. The other one can always go to Pakled World for more information, including pictures and sound bites. (By the way, I figure that ‘nine out of ten’ is not a ratio but the actual number of my readers.)

(signed) The drone formerly known as Dr. Weevil, new designation ’1,469,732 of 1,756,411′, tertiary adjunct underblogger to the 4096th Bellicose Shoppers’ Brigade.

Tangential Notes:

  1. If the Blogosphere is the Borg, is Glenn Reynolds the Borg Queen?
  2. While we’re on the subject of Borg females, male viewers of Star Trek Voyager have been oohing and aahing over Seven of Nine’s amazing contours since the series began. Her shape should have come as no surpise. The Borg have always been intergalactic leaders in implant technology. Mostly they go in for the complex and rather kinky metal kind, but it seems they can handle old-fashioned silicon as well.

Though some of the allusions are now rather obscure, I can’t think of anything to add three years later. And Pakled World is still in business.