Not the Borg

We’ve got to learn to talk with each other in order to create a new narrative.We have to see ourselves and each other in quite a different way. We have to deliberately reach out to each other even though this may be scary.

I posted this cartoon and reflection on my own page earlier today.

The Borg that I refer to (for the sake of non-trekkies) are presented in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ as a spacefaring ‘collective’ that assimilate species and cultures across the galaxy. They are a metaphor for the submergence of individuality and diversity in a conformist totalitarianism that, depending on political preference, can be projected as a ‘1984’ style communism or a ‘Brave New World’ style corporatism.

The subversion of the will and consciousness of the many to the will and consciousness of the powerful few is a millenias old motif of human societies and is not, of course, peculiar to our present time. This subversion of the individual and collective will has been resisted by libertarian, communalist and humanist ideologies that are premised on values of individual dignity and universal equality.
What the Borg symbolise is the use of overwhelming technological capability to finally crush any will or set of values that contradicts those of the established power structures. The present danger is that the emerging totalitarian surveillance state in nationalist or globalist form will, if we are not vigilant, ‘Borgify’ us.

This vision of us becoming ‘the Borg’ competes with another (more fragile) vision that I like to call ‘Homo Gestalt’ after Theodore Sturgeon’s classic sci-fi novel ‘More than Human’. The thought here (my thought not Sturgeon’s – he was envisioning something more telepathic than telematic) is that emergent communication technologies, rather than being instrumental in controlling us can be instrumental in our emergence as a cooperative species, a ‘noosphere civilisation’ whose motif is collective consciousness rather than coerced consciousness.
Homo Gestalt will not sacrifice her individuality; the nature of that individuality changes organically by becoming part of the Gestalt but the Gestalt (that totality that is more than the sum of its parts) also changes organically to accomodate and reflect the diversity and individual presence of all its parts.

Our talking with each other is the beginning of the creation of the new narrative. Doing this extends us as human beings. We have to face and overcome many fears and prejudices in order to face and accept each other as the equals that we are. In doing this we will become powerful; in turning to each other we will root our own power in the power of community. Marianne Williamson wrote something that expresses this very well – even though I would use different words:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

The Mind Killer

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Frank Herbert, Dune

I read this novel Dune long ago, when I a teenager. The Bene Geserit quote came to mind today and I played with another app on my phone to cartoonise myself and my thought. The quotation is very relevant and perhaps Dune is very relevant too.

Pixel Art

This is a first attempt at pixel art. The website looks like a great resource. Perfect for kids off school and for adults with poor drawing skills.