I find that an odd question. Borg intelligence is and always has been collective. We're not talking about a single AI, a single program or server. Borg ships aren't like Starfleet ships with a single central computer, but more like the Internet, a decentralized network made up of millions of individual processing nodes that work collectively. The Borg Collective is a compound intelligence made up of countless organic and cybernetic parts. All of those parts contribute to the intelligence of the whole, just as all the neurons and glial cells in your brain contribute to your intelligence. A Borg cube is sentient because of the combined processing power of all its individual organic and cybernetic components. Take away the organic components -- the drones -- and you've only taken away half of what made up its sentience in the first place. What results is like a human brain that's undergone a lobotomy or even had a whole hemisphere removed. But there are documented cases of human beings who've remained alive and intelligent even after suffering such severe brain damage -- although their thought processes and abilities were profoundly changed as a result. Autonomy of individual components, yes. But we're not talking about a single processor, we're talking about the collective, decentralized intelligence of an entire cube. A cube is a colony unto itself, the size of a city. And this was a supercube, the biggest single Borg cube ever encountered. It was a respectable-sized mini-collective in its own right. He said that they've always had the potential to mutate into this, but never have before. My recollection is that the book DID NOT say cubes have always been sentient, at least not in this active way. It said it was a latent potential that never before had to be realized. Like the Moriarty or EMH examples I gave before -- the cubes didn't think autonomously, but they had the capacity to evolve that ability under the right circumstances. No. Wrong. He said the potential for this mutation to occur had always existed. Mutation is not inevitable. It's a chance event. If, say, a primitive fish has a gas bladder for flotation, it has the potential for that bladder to mutate into a lung and enable it to live on land. But most of the individual fish that have that potential will not actually get that mutation, because that's not how mutation works. Potential and realization are two different things. It was not inevitable that the Borg supercube would mutate in this way. It was just the Federation's rotten luck that it did. The building blocks were there, just as the building blocks for sentient holograms or "Emergence" intelligences were in the Enterprise computer, just as the building blocks for life exist in the primordial ooze of an uninhabited planet. But it takes the right spark, the right chance concatenation of events, to turn that potential into actuality. Yes, but by the same token, the cybernetic components are equally a core part of their consciousness. And we know the organic components (the drones) can function as intelligent life when separated from the cybernetic components, so isn't is asymmetrical to assume the reverse can't possibly be true? Not a failsafe. A fortuitous (for the Borg) and entirely unanticipated mutation. The whole point of the book is that this was a new, unique, unprecedented variation on the Borg, a freak mutation. Of course it was different. That was the whole idea. And it's misunderstanding the Borg to think of a cube as a single unit like a starship. It's a component of the collective whole and is itself a collective entity. The Collective is uniform, decentralized. A cube is merely a detached component of the whole, a large enough one to function as an autonomous collective even in isolation from the greater mass. No such distinction. The cube is a subset of the Collective and is a collective in its own right. It's not a starship, it's an ant colony. And they are equally within the capabilities of fundamentally nanotechnological systems. One possibility does not disprove the other. Because of the limitations of television budgets. Why should books limit themselves without need? Should Titan have an all-humanoid crew just because the makers of the TV shows didn't have enough money to populate their ships with nonhumanoids? Arguments based on the shows' limitations don't make sense when applied to the novels. And you're limiting the issue by focusing only on repair. What about growth? What about the growth of Borg technology on the assimilated crewmen in First Contact? What about the "future drone" in "One," grown by Borg nanites out of the Doctor's mobile emitter? There is certainly more evidence besides "Q Who" that this is at least possible. All you can do is demonstrate that an alternative interpretation exists. You can't show that it disproves BD's interpretation. I don't know why you think that. It's a standard "grey goo" nanotech scenario, and it's established that the Borg employ nanotech. It's simply extrapolating that established fact to one possible conclusion. I mean, let's talk about your "Constructor" nanites. They have to get their raw material from somewhere. They have to be able to take existing matter apart and transform it into the compounds and molecular structures they need to build. So what you insist on treating as two mutually exclusive possibilities are nothing of the kind. The one you reject is actually implicit in the one you argue for. Another straw man. The depicted mutation is not remotely so extreme. He did explicitly say they were new. That was the whole damn point of the book -- to reinvent the Borg into a new, scarier form. You're entitled to say you didn't find that new form scary or satisfying. But it's simply false to claim he was saying the Borg have always been like that, because the whole damn point of the book was that this was something entirely new. They're the exact same Borg. Literally, the same individual Borg drones that we saw assimilated in Before Dishonor, aboard the same ship that Admiral Janeway was on when she and its crew were assimilated. They have the same mutant abilities and traits that BD introduced. So how can you see them as acceptable in GTTS and unacceptable in BD when they're the exact same thing? You didn't see such a connection. I did. Perceptions differ. No writer's choices are going to satisfy every reader. But a lot of your specific arguments here just don't make sense or are based on incorrect recollections of the book.