If the borg had the capability to create grey goo that can eat planets in minuts, they would have used that capability before "before dishonor".
Says who? You?
I'll be sure to take your PhD in Borg Studies more seriously next time we talk.
Right now, I have the capability to alter my body's metabolism so that I become very, very muscular, if I so choose. Heck, if I chose, I could become a body builder -- physically adapting my body in a way I never have before.
Or, alternately, I'm interested in Spanish history and literature. I've never done it before, but, in theory, I could choose to learn Spanish to such proficiency that I could read Cervantes's Don Quixote
in the original Spanish. After all, it's just a matter of developing a new mental adaptation (learning Spanish).
It's true, I don't have the ability to do enter a body building competition or to read Cervantes now
. But it's only a matter of realizing the potential that I have and developing the adaptations needed to accomplish those goals.
By your logic, the fact that I have not done so must mean I am physically incapable of it. After all, the Borg have never tried to assimilate by absorbing physical matter before; therefore the Borg must be incapable of it.
It's an incredibly irrational syllogism based upon false premises, though. The Borg are by nature a force that adapts all the time. Therefore, they should logically often be developing capabilities they never possessed before. It does not stand to reason therefore that those capabilities were never potential capabilities beforehand -- just that they had not adapted themselves to accomplish those tasks beforehand.
<SNIP> [Instances where the Borg have lost without developing the absorption technology]
Yes. And I've had trouble lifting things before without choosing to become a body builder. By your logic, I must therefore be physically incapable of becoming a body builder.
There's no accounting for innovation and creativity. When it happens, it just happens
. And canon has implied that the Borg have trouble being creative (Janeway believed that they just don't do it); it's not unreasonable to think that they don't tend to use sentient creativity because its appearance is unreliable, but that they still have moments of innovation or insight ungleaned from other species. And certainly if there's one thing that Destiny
should teach us, it's that the Borg cannot be relied upon to follow previous behavior patterns on all situations; they are, like any other sentient intelligence, capable of altering their behavior.
In any event:
The point is not that the cubes, denuded of their drones, will certainly
develop the absorption adaptation. The point is that it is a very real, and very serious risk, and the negative potential consequences would be of such severity that they would outweigh the positive potential consequences.