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Picard and the Borg

After a lot of thought (well at least the last week), I came to the conclusion that people are either Picards or Borgs.

“What are you talking about now?” My ever familiar – familiar, just popped in and of course the first thing she does is question my thoughts.

“I am talking about how people are different.” Explaining everything I say has become a daily ritual.

“Then why don’t you just say you think people are different.“

One, two, three, four– The patient side of my brain tells me only six more to go. Oh never mind another part says as patience is not a well developed part of my character. “Five,” I say out loud. “What I am trying to do is use an analogy to show the difference in people.”

“It sounded more like a metaphor to me.” Her blond hair drops over her shoulder as she tilts her head in a cross between a question and a statement.

“I guess… maybe it is a…” Why do I let her get me off-track like this. “I don’t know. Even my high school English teacher got them confused.”

“Whatever.” She shrugs, but in that way that could make you feel inferior. You know, a casual lifting of the shoulders, but the words that go with it are a bit condescending as if it isn’t that important, but she knows she is right regardless.

“As I was saying, people fit into two categories, Picards or Borgs.”

“If you say so.” She drops into her chair, one leg over the overstuffed arm, her head on the other arm as she stares up at the ceiling.

“I do.” Six, seven, eight, nine, ten I take a deep breath.

“So how are people Picards or Borgs?” She turns her head to look over at me as I sit at the desk.

“Let me ask you a question.”

She continues to stares at me, but doesn’t say anything.

“Okay, what is the first thing that comes to mind when I mention the Borg? You know the ones from Star Trek.”

“I knew which ones you meant.” Her upturned lip tells me that she is only slightly irritated. “I guess that they don’t know how to accessorize. Have you seen how awful their costumes are. Nothing put tubes, pipes, and wires… and everyone of them have this thing over one eye. Why not both eyes? At least that would like a pair of sunglasses.” She smirks as she waits for my reaction.

“Seriously.” I close my eyes and lean back in the chair and when I open them her smile has widened. “You know that is not what I meant. And besides, who cares what they look like.”

“Probably Mrs. Borg, though I guess the female Borgs look pretty much the same.” Her lips twist. “’In fact they all look and act alike”

“Exactly.” I finally smile though she came to what I wanted in a round about – I mean really long round about – way. “They are all the same. It is nearly impossible for a Borg to do something different than what is deemed right by the Collective. In other words, they all follow the same set of rules because working as one unit they can accomplish things that they could not do alone.”

“You almost make it sound attractive.” The smile fades and is replaced with a crunched up face, like she is trying to make a rabbit nose.

“Well to some people it is. In fact some people say that the writers of Star Trek were using it as a metaphor for socialism.”

“I told you it was a metaphor.” The smile is back.

“Whatever, that is not important.” My head shakes and I close my eyes just for a moment and take another deep breath. Talking to my Muse takes the place of my deep breathing exercises at yoga. “Other people see it as just a reference to the need for working together. I think most people fall into this category. Not that they are robotic like, but they are used to following the rules blindly or at least only giving it passing consideration. It is easier to leave the decisions to others. Takes away the responsibility.”

She nods, and then asks, “What about Picards. Wasn’t he absorbed into the Collective one time? Wasn’t he a Borg?”

“Ah, but Picard was different.”

She looks at me, her expression quizzical.

“Picard has a bunch of rules – right? Star Fleet has an entire laundry list of things he can and can not do.” I know my voice is rising a little, but I tend to get excited when I get on a subject that really interest me. “But he evaluates those rules in light of the situation and weighs the benefits against the risk of breaking the rule.” I love how he would justify his actions. “Then he would go ahead and do what he thought was right.”

“What about when he was a Borg?” She seemed to be trying to reconcile the Collective and the breaking of rules.

“But that is exactly how he defeated the Borg. He had to become one of them and use their own adherence to the rules to defeat them.” Sitting back I smiled. “He did the unthinkable, from a Borg’s perspective, he went outside the rules.”

“So you are saying that people are either mindless followers or they are willful renegades?” She has an acute sense of sarcasm that would make Bill Murray envious.

“No. Yes. I mean sometimes.” It did not have to be a complex discussion for me to get confused when I talked with Willow. “No one, well at least the majority of people are not just one or the other. I think people are a mixture of both, but I do think people tend to lean in one direction or the other.”

She had sat up while I talked; which was a true indication she was interested.

“So what are you?” Her stare was fixed as she leaned forward.

“In my heart I am a writer.” I did not hesitate. “A fantasy writer.”

“So…” She leaned a little closer.

I could feel my grin as I answered her with a laugh, “A Picard of course!”


As I mention above, I think everyone is a mix of both Picard and Borgs, with neither being all good or all bad. The world needs both so that the book 1984 doesn’t become a reality, and we also don’t end up in complete anarchy. Given a choice (only picking from these two), share which way you think you lean and why? Or maybe you are dead in the middle. Again why?

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