Culture > Borg
- See also:
To completely absorb and integrate something.
Combining of things being folded into the same umbrella; to completely absorb and integrate something, often with callous disregard for the uniqueness of that something. It's the opposite of diversification with less differentiation and specialization. Compare with the term fleshing. Related to the merciless refactor.
The term comes from a fictional race of hive-minded machine-humans with a singular emotionless, dispassionate goal to forcefully assimilating and converting race after race of humanoids, creating more machine-humans (cybernetics). This conversion is seen by the collective as for the their own good. Although the idea/fear of humans becoming machines is not new, this term comes from the TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" for the villain "The Borg."
Having no easier way to fully describe this concept, I started using this term (publically it was around 2001, possibly earlier). In 2003, I even got away with using it in business meetings. =)
- Borging is good:
- Consolidation of ideas/manpower/etc.
Improvement through a more complete picture, putting everything necessary all in one place
- Borging is bad:
- Less emphasis on the individual, personal initiative, or creativity
Invention and innovation becomes less important than organization and togetherness
- Moving web pages that are in the public domain and formatting them differently.
Often what is done with open source software, especially in circumstances where an author doesn't need to notify the originator (personal use, for example) and they can just "Borg" or absorb and use, other people's code.
When a project directly competes with another project by doing a head-to-head comparison of feature-sets. The renewing project is able to "borg" another by adding all the same features plus a few more, rendering that "borged" project obsolete. While not directly taking code, borging is a form of extreme, take-no-prisoners competition.
- When Microsoft took all of Netscape's features and added them to its own browser (already based on Mosaic) and then developed better usability and added even more features on top.
- When Yahoo began snatching up internet services for maps, email, chat clients tools, and more, many features were taken from already existing web sites to add to its own suite of more centralized internet services.
When the development of a project changes hands, the new developer will often completely rewrite the program almost from scratch, and then borg select parts of the old program, integrating them into the new work and discarding the obsolete code.
- When Mozilla's source code was released, the project was rewritten entirely, taking bits of the old Netscape menu format and plugins.