Borg adaptation ability

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Hando, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. Hando

    Hando Commander Red Shirt

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    Do we know how the Borg adaptation works?
    I would expect something along the lines of what doesn't kill me makes me stronger. But we see drones being killed and than another drone is immune. How can the Borg even learn what killed the drone if it is killed immediately.

    What about the viruses, one that created Hugh and co. and the one in Icheb are the Borg now immune? After all id didn't seem so, if they worked twice each. Or does it takes several tries?

    Also, there should be an limit to the adaptability. After all a ship with an immune drone fight should be one-sided.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.
     
  2. Finngle Bells

    Finngle Bells Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^They are all connected as in a collective, so the collective analyzes whatever is killing a bunch of drones and adapts...
     
  3. SWHouston

    SWHouston Commander Red Shirt

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    An answer to your question would be speculative at best, but the Borg remove components, or, transport the disabled Drone (probably} back to their Ship, and an analysis is done. Subsequently, resolutions are established and "resistance is futile".

    Besides Icheb and Hugh, there have been other instances where the Borg have been disabled, but, it just wouldn't be good script, if they weren't a persistent threat. Star Fleet has a reputation of bypassing/not pursuing technologies, which would elevate their "presence" when it comes to defending themselves in the Space Community. So, why force the issue of creating another component of threat.
     
  4. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They don't.

    The Borg have many different drones with many different specialties and equipment packages. Some would be outfitted primarily for reconnaissance and examination, some for combat and/or capture of specimens, some for maintenance of the Borg ship, some for dismantling of other people's ships. Borg adaptation is really just a matter of trial and error: they keep sending drones at you until they find one you can't easily kill, then they identify that immunity and send a SHITLOAD of drones with the same specs. Operationally: we send a drone to take over your systems. You kill it with a phaser, we send a drone with a forcfield system. You spend five minutes trying to kill it with a phaser and then somebody pulls out a tommy gun and riddles it with bullets, so we send a drone with a shield generator AND heavy armor. Your engineer spends five more minutes trying to rig some kind of polaron beam that can take it down... by the time he does this, we've taken over your computers.

    The scary thing about the Borg isn't that they can adapt to anything (they can't). The scary thing about the Borg is that their combined intelligence is so interconnected that if any ONE of them notices your weakness, then ALL of them know it. So it's not so much that they can adapt -- Starfleet can do that too, if you've noticed -- it's that they do it VERY quickly, usually minutes or seconds into any particular encounter, and their non-networked adversaries aren't normally fast enough to counter them.

    It simply seems to me that Starfleet doesn't know half as much about the Borg as they think they do; the virus they planned to unleash on Hugh probably wouldn't have affected more than that single cube, if it affected them at all, which it probably wouldn't. I Icheb's case, I think the rogue geneticists simply got lucky when none of the drones (or not enough of them) had a strong enough immune response for them to adapt to the virus. IF it worked twice, it again probably would have only affected that one cube.

    The limit's just a function of "luck of the draw." If you hit the Borg with something that none of their drones and/or technology can respond to, you can beat them (this is evidently what happened with Locutus' ship: none of the drones on that cube had a means of recognizing a fake regeneration prompt). The real problem is that it's not enough just to surprise a few of them, you have to surprise ALL of them at the same time, and as many drones and devices are on board the cube, your chance of coming up with something that at least SOME of them aren't ready for is incredibly small.
     
  5. Finngle Bells

    Finngle Bells Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Doesn't explain how after a couple of drones are hit with phasers, the other approaching drones are able to resist the phaser fire within seconds without any chance of directly removing items from the downed drones....
     
  6. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They're also receiving telemetry and sensor data from each drone, I think, and aboard their ships, additional sensor data from non-organic devices (i.e. not in a drone) that are embedded throughout the ship.

    That constant input of telemetry and sensor data would allow for adaptation without having to physically retrieve any items. After all, a drone could literally see the frequency of the beam that killed him, and that data would be immediately transmitted to the rest of the Collective. All of this would happen within fractions of seconds. It would be a simple program to write, actually. Every incoming beam has its frequency measured. Any incoming beam immediately followed by the termination of that drone then has that frequency immediately transmitted out to the Collective for adaptation. With their level of processing power, it would be quite simple to do.

    Think of projects like SETI@home and Folding@home for a model of the Borg Collective and you can see how such massive programs could be executed in a decentralized manner...though of course the Borg are doing MUCH better than dialup and broadband and presumably have far, far less data loss with each drone's inbound and outbound transmissions.
     
  7. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So here is a question. Borg tech, SG-1 replicators, the cyborg superman. Who absorbs whom? BTW nice Cyberman Borg crossover comic coming.
     
  8. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    They can share information across the collective mind without needing to physically extract components. Just a matter of saying, "Oh, there's an energy weapon. Let's try our shields." They activate the shields and see if that particular shield frequency is able to stop or reduce the effect of the phaser beam. One drone might say, "Hey, I retuned my shields to this frequency,a nd that reduced the damage by this much, even though it still killed me." (Easy enough to have an implant that would send that information on the death of the drone). So all the other drones returne their shields to something close to that, to see if they can improve.

    Kinda like if I told you to pick a number. You might say, "50?" I'd say lower. You;d say 25, I'd say higher. You'd say 38, I'd say higher. You'd say 44, I;d say higher. You;d say 47, and I;d say, yep, that's it!
     
  9. SWHouston

    SWHouston Commander Red Shirt

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    In the case of Trek, there's no reason to think that the Borg won't assimilate the whole Universe. Until "someone" gets in to their Computer System, and resolves the equation for their obsession for assimilation to say enough is enough, then they will probably continue.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the Borg did stop short of assimilating Icheb's home - because they saw that assimilating bits of it while letting others regrow provided them with more to assimilate. And they have been around for hundreds of millennia, but haven't overrun the galaxy yet. So "holding back" is probably at the very core of their programming...

    Replicators tend to suffer from a shortage of FTL starships, but otherwise they expand more aggressively than the Borg, and would probably go exponential as soon as they gained sufficient transportation capacity.

    Never heard of the third player. Man of Steel gets silicon implants?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here you go:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Henshaw

    He even tried to infect Galactus in a crossover.
     
  12. Silversmok3

    Silversmok3 Commander Red Shirt

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    There is a limit to their adaptability-if ALL the forces sent to attack an area are destroyed all at once, then no adaptation occurs.

    Of course, simultaneously destroying a fleet of multiple Borg cubes is the very personification of the phrase "easier said than done ".
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, if you take as a whole of what we know about the Borg, they would only assimilate cultures that have something to offer them, and then only in a concerted, massive effort. Both Hugh and Guinan of suggested that the Borg "don't do anything piecemeal", and probably won't go through the trouble of assimilating a civilization until they've decided that the whole thing is worthy of harvesting.

    There are undoubtedly certain cultures that would simply be passed over by the Borg because they're too primitive and offer nothing of value to the collective. Certainly, we've never known the Borg to go and assimilate non-sapient life forms and they don't show a lot of interest in pre-industrial races either. The extent to which they even assimilate PEOPLE is surprisingly inconsistent; they only seem to do this when they need replacements and/or someone to speak for them on a particular subject.
     
  14. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I guess it depends on how the Queen is feeling.
     
  15. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I strongly believe the Queen is a relatively new addition to the collective, probably some sort of parasitic humanoid they assimilated, who has begun to drive the collective's agenda in new/stupid ways.
     
  16. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've never quite understood why their shields don't offer any resistance until they adapt and become immune.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Several of the later VOY episodes suggest that as soon as you are assimilated, you become immortal and independent of your physical body, sort of. It could be argued that letting a Drone body die is not a loss to the Collective in any way, then: it's just a further way to make good use of the biomass. Why not let Drones die of phaser blasts, when it gives you information on the phaser types being used, information you couldn't gain if you stopped the phaser from having its intended effect?

    Or it might be a fairly simple pragmatic reason: a Drone never carries "preemptive" defenses because a Drone can only carry so much, and being prepared for everything would overburden the poor thing. An energy shell might be as stifling to a Borg as a gas mask would be to today's infantryman - it would definitely stay off until absolutely needed.

    As default, "shields" in the Trek universe seldom stop a determined attack by conventional beam weapons. Dukat's transport in "Return to Grace" was supposedly shielded, yet this offered no protection against the weapons of a Klingon BoP. So why did Cardassians bother to have shields on the transport in the first place? Apparently because the generic shield still stops certain threats of "lower than military level". When dealing with something stronger than that, you either need to carry hardware that costs too much (in terms of power use, weight or plain credits) or you need to tune your stuff to be of specific use.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As I said earlier, it's mainly because not all drones HAVE shields. Different drones have different sensor/tools/equipment fittings that are optimized for different situations, and not all of them are "hazardous environment" types.

    The Borg adapt by changing their equipment to fit the situation, once they determine what the situation is. If you kill their first drone, they'll send one you can't kill. If you kill him too, they'll send another one even harder to kill. Same appears to be true of their ship: if their main weapon can't affect you or if you demonstrate the ability to defend against it, they'll toggle to a different weapon that's more likely to be effective.

    The Borg possess such a broad arsenal of equipment that all they have to do is figure out which of their drones/gadgets/tactics will work on their adversary of the day. Their singular advantage is that they can do this instantly, by sharing information among themselves and immediately figuring out what parts they need, who has them, and where to use them.
     
  19. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree with you there. The Borg were more imposing as a pure collective. I think a good backstory for her was for her to have been an expert in the hive minds of alien insects and to have used that somehow to gain control.
     
  20. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ That or she was a Xyrillian. When we meet them in the 22nd century they demonstrate an inherently parasitic nature: they leach power from other ships, they use living organisms as part of their life support systems and they reproduce by surreptitiously impregnating others. You assimilate one of those into the collective, then her biological distinctiveness becomes part of the collective; suddenly the collective isn't merely forcibly confiscating useful technology, it's dedicated to finding increasingly more asinine ways to coexist with other life forms.