In the American science fiction show Star Trek there is a species called the Borg. The Borg manifest as cybernetically enhanced humanoid drones of multiple species, organized as an interconnected collective. Within the interconnected collective, every drone shares what it sees and does and decisions are made by a hive mind. They operate solely toward the fulfilling of one purpose: to “add the biological and technological distinctiveness of other species to their own” in pursuit of perfection. This is achieved through forced assimilation, a process which transforms individuals and technology into Borg, enhancing, and simultaneously controlling, individuals by implanting or appending synthetic components. In Star Trek, attempts to resist the Borg became one of the central themes, with many examples of successful resistance to the collective. Every now and then drones can escape the collective (most notably Seven of Nine), and become individuals once again.
Though this is purely fictional, I wonder if I could be considered a Borg drone. I think I am. Others are assimilated by me through endless rants and encouragement to get connected and buy new technology to enhance their lives. I actively participate in the collective hive called the Internet. I share what I think on my blog and Twitter, what I see on Flickr, what I read on LibraryThing, what I drink on Snooth, discuss on Facebook and base the purchase of my next mobile phone on reviews and Hunch. One could argue that I’m not completely sharing everything to the fullest. For instance I cannot share my emotions directly or what I’m smelling right now (a cup of coffee). Another person would not be able to experience the exact same thing. Future technology will solve this problem. By using nanotechnology to implant nano-wires into the vascular system in our brains we are able to change the input in our brain. This technology could in theory link brains to each other or link a brain to a computer. Would I every have to use Twitter again?
There is however one major difference from the fictional story—where persons are forcefully assimilated into the collective—in contrast to our current society. In the current society we cannot wait to share everything out of free choice using social media services. Add some nanotechnology in the mix and we can get connected losing the computer as middleman.
Will we shift to an interconnected collective hive? And will there be a Federation that will save us from this interconnected collective hive called the Internet or is resistance futile?