Monday, March 31, 2008

Excuse me, your foot is on my cord.

Packing up to leave the coffee shop where I was blogging last night, I practically had to crawl under a nearby table to unplug my laptop from the shared power strip. A family group was sitting at the table my cord ran under.

As I started to pull the cord back, I realized the elderly father of the family had his foot firmly on top of it.
Crouched next to him, I tapped his arm and said, "Excuse me, your foot is on my cord."

He looked baffled, but his grown daughter said, "Dad, Dad, you're stepping on her cord."

"Oh, I'm sorry," he said, and moved his foot.

"No, no, I'm sorry to bother you," I said, abashed to encounter an individual for whom this was not a normal social exchange. Not yet...

Then I went home and watched the movie Star Trek: First Contact. I'm not generally interested in stories from ST: The Next Generation (TNG), which this is, but the Borg in particular do intrigue me, and this movie features them.

"Borg" is short for "cyborg," which itself is short for "cybernetic organism," meaning a human with some machine parts (like the Six Million Dollar Man, if you remember him).

Star Trek's Borg are humanoids whose flesh not only has been partly replaced with machine parts but whose very genes have been altered.
With linked minds, they pursue one solitary goal: to become perfect through conquering and "assimilating" humanoid species and advanced technology throughout the universe.
Very scary.

First Contact came out in 1996, the year I got my first laptop computer.
Are we on the way to becoming cyborgs?
Maybe cyborgs, but not Borg.
The Borg don't say "excuse me" if you step on their cords.

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