Why do the Borg say "Resistance is futile"?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by at Quark's, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    I mean, do they actually expect species to stop resisting after they've heard that message? And as the borg are all about efficiency, why waste time with such a message?

    How many species would there have been in the past that after hearing that message, shrugged their shoulders and said: "ah, well. we suppose it's all over then, you can come in. Oh, would you please be so kind to use some anesthetic during the amputation of limbs and puncturing / gouging out of eyes parts of the process?"

    Or is the idea just to demotivate said species so that they put up less of a fight and there are less drone casualties at the end?
     
  2. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

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    The first time, despite being perceived as a "dialogue disaster" in every other sci-fi venue out there because it is trite at its core, it works because of their showing effectively the Borg as being impossible to defeat. Ideally they'd show it without having the dialogue to muddy it down with.

    Unfortunately, after TBOBW, we quickly see that Trek too goes into broken record mode and proving beyond all causality that "resistance is useless" is the ultimate cliche, telling instead of showing. Telling has a place but showing still does more convincing. Increasingly in VOY when the record player put on the same song and dance, it was harder to believe.

    Which doesn't answer your question. I think the Borg were just being polite since they just didn't go in to do it. OR they were saying it ahead of time in hopes the Federation wouldn't pew-pew the phasers in return, thus creating possible Borg casualties (per what you said).

    As prime example of the latter: In TBOBW, we got the newly tuned phasers that would work once or twice (but worked a dozen times anyway, the Borg otherwise would have clearly expand their shields to encompass the next maximum frequency that quickly since the same augmented technology was used in all of their phasers). Meaning the net casualty list is Federation: An estimated eleven thousand lives. Borg: Nine... had it not been for Data finding their regeneration program and launched it. If only the Borg didn't use Unix, as that sleep command that didn't require admin privileges to enable may not have otherwise worked, hehe. :D Better Unix than Windows, however! :guffaw:But Data found it, so to that nine add anywhere from four thousand nine hundred ninety one to one hundred sixty nine thousand nine hundred and ninety one drones. That's a real picnic ruined by insects...

    On the plus side, future attempts by the Borg - one ship notwithstanding - actually did adapt by having the Borg use a loudspeaker to broadcast their intentions without need of creating an emissary.

    But, yeah, it's another means for the Borg to tell their prey just to sit back and chill. Like how Freddy Kreuger might.
     
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  3. LAFR

    LAFR Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Because "Resistance is for pussies" would not have made it past the censors.
     
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  4. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

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    *snicker*

    Or be considered in 1990. In 2019, I'm sure it'll be tried. At least for Discovery if not Orville, both shows that ostensibly take place in the future but are littered with way too much contemporary dialogue - just like how our language hasn't been more formalized since when Shakespeare wrote his plays or how actors had spake...

    Like this:

    I can only imagine that people 400 years from now would look back on our contemporary linguistic structure and colloquialism slang and proceed to guffaw, chortle, choke, spit it out, and then feel relieved they don't have to live through all that unevolved hipster lingo o' the day.

    Or having to try to read it on the original paper in non-iambic pentameter form:

    [​IMG]

    Or worse, if "Idiocracy" proves to be even more a documentary or how-to guide...
     
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  5. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Perhaps they set their permissions wrong because they were too logical about it :) That actually happened to my graduation supervisor when I was still obtaining my master's in mathematics (25 years ago). Being a pure mathematician but less of a computer guy he had a penchant for parsimony and minimalism, so one day, he put a chmod 007 over a crucial set of fliles he intended to be readable, writable and executable for everyone (the 3rd digit), his reasoning being that everyone by default included his own group and himself as file owner (the 2nd and 1st digit, respectively) so he didn't need to set those permissions. Instead, of course the files became accessible for everyone except himself and members of his staff. For some reason, it couldn't be reversed simply and it took the helpdesk some time to reverse the situation....

    (Not a computer expert myself and I haven't used Unix for over 20 years so I could be wrong in the details, but still ...)
     
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  6. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They also like to say Irrelevant. Resistance is irrelevant. Preparations are irrelevant. Death is irrelevant! Your query is irrelevant.
    Someone should start a thread "How 'meme culture' is destroying the English language, and other languages."
     
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  7. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If they were following the trend of English, they would break it down to just "R.I.F." and get abbreviation-friendly.

    Still, "resistance is futile" might very well be the condensed form of a far longer introduction they used to use before discovering the more efficient 3-word method. (I can't help thinking of Vogon poetry from Hitchhiker's Guide as a non-efficient example. But even that did seem effective in producing terror in the hearts of its listeners.)
     
  8. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the Borg's RIF Track has a high failure rate.
     
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  9. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    I find this anecdote as clear and easy-to-understand as the Shakespeare quote above. And I live in the same age as you. I mean, these are all English words I understand, placed into a simple sentence structure, and I think I understand what happened.

    But it takes a couple read-throughs to decipher. Just like Shakespeare.
     
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  10. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Before BOBW it was.
     
  11. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    And to answer the OP's question: I think it's actually the opposite. The Borg make this statement, and similar statements, as reverse psychology. They are actively seeking out Resistors, those who pose a challenge or, more importantly, could pose a challenge to them in the future.

    They are not "efficient" by any reasonable meaning of the word. They are more than happy to hang back, literally, while Starfleet crews poke around and investigate inside their vessels. They could ramrod our heroes on multiple occasions in multiple ways, but choose not to.

    Because, they, ironically enough, are the biggest supporters and promoters of the Anti-Borg movement. If a species were to roll over and allow assimilation, they'd probably just put them on the list to ignore, and seek out more dangerous prey.

    They'll send out one Borg Cube, at a snail's warp pace, to test out the might of the latest big polity. They've been around for thousands of centuries, and plan on thousands more.

    The goal of the Borg is perfection. Not for everyone, just themselves. They assimilate diverse intelligent species to achieve this goal, not expand some empire. When we run across them, they've reached the point of prodding new cultures into fighting back. They don't see perfection as existing in this galaxy (at least, not in plain sight), so they want to make and shape the Perfect Species, or at least get closer.

    The Borg are Apollo Creed, giving Rocky plenty of time to bulk up in preparation for the most entertaining fight. They don't want a Round 1 knockout. They want to go the distance.
     
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  12. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yup... that's the best way to explain their illogical behavior in "First Contact". If they actually succeeded in capturing the Earth with one cube, good. If they actually succeeded in going back in time and changing the past, great! But if the encounter prodded the Federation into developing all sorts of new technologies and strategies (which they could later assimilate) ... that'd be superlative.
     
  13. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    So, that would essentially be the "let's get them fattened up for assimilation" theory that is often mentioned as explanations on questions like "why do the Borg only use one cube", etc. Sounds plausible.

    With that they could make their message even more menacing (and enigmatic to the recipients) I think... something like "Resistance is desired".


    I didn't want to make it a story with long explanations (about chmod for example), but still had to cram in the necessary information somehow. My apologies if it became less clear as a result.

    Probably yes, but then again, so is pretty much every trek-related query on these boards.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  14. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    IRL I beleve were gonna c the day r slang is lik iambic pentameter.

    We'll have great, long fingers, humped backs with horns, and people will spell phonetically, wondering why we used punctuation symbols, and why (y) we wasted so many letters and sentence structures when all we needed was to type a single letter, instead of three. K.

    Formal writing will be considered haughty, redundant, and pretentious.

    "You know what I was trying to say. Why dress your words in long sentences and punctuation marks when a single letter would communicate the same idea?"

    Slang will appear to be poetry, if I read the etymologies and the history of langugage, trends, correctly. "K" isn't like "Fab." "K" has been here, like a modern-day idiom, for as long as I have been alive.

    We literally have so many filler words it is getting ridiculous. And we like to end our sentences in prepositions.

    I have an example of a great song that is better without it's repetitive, preposition, hook:

    The dark blue places that never heal.
    I'm folding my cape
    I am no man of Steel
    The grapes of wrath
    And dust bowl fields
    I prayed for rain
    I know how good it feels

    The actual lyrics?

    "I'm giving up the grapes of wrath
    And all these dust bowl fields..."
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Ending a sentence in a dangling preposition is just one of those things someone (i.e. John Dryden) decided arbitrarily and bullied people into thinking there was a reason for it.

    Languages go through phases and fashions. Right now we're in one where it's fashionable to infantilize English, hence the baby-grammar of "I cleaned all the things" and so forth. There's no real evidence this will be a long-lived thing.
     
  16. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    In fairness to the Borg, one could look at prey species in the natural world. It's not at all uncommon for a prey species to have a breaking point where they stop believing they can escape and just give up. Trek tends to paint most intelligent alien life as 'like us' with similar instincts, but there's no particular reason there couldn't also be species out there which react to such an unstoppable threat by honestly giving up to spare themselve the pain of fighting. 'Resistance is futile' could actually speed things up in some circumstances, especially when paired with actual unstoppable assaults (which probably aren't unusual in Borg attacks against anyone other than starfleet who doesn't have plot armor).
     
  17. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They said it because it was futile, as far as they were concerned

    Until someone actually resisted
     
  18. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    tldr
     
  19. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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  20. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Irrelevancy is irrelevant. ;)