I realized, as he and I continued to chat about things, that one of the core issues for the Borg is how they go about assimilating. They always look dour, even angry, as they walk around looking for new beings to bring into the collective.
We know that they have a Queen, thanks to First Contact (and Voyager), who is able to use the “soft sell” method instead of just brute force assimilation. So I have to wonder how much more success would the Borg have had, if they were cheerier about the prospects of becoming one with the hive mind?
The typical Borg method was just to show up and force people into joining. The brute zeal of their assault was magnified by their technological superiority. This inevitably led crafty humans to continually fluster and outwit them.
So what if the Borg instead came with a smile – perhaps even some gifts – and talked to people first? I’m sure they could have won over a few people at first, who would then have assisted from within the alien cultures they wanted to assimilate. It would be a lot less messy.
I grant it would have been a slower method. However, they would probably have saved some real resources and had an easier go of things.
I can only hope that someone picks up on this idea and gives us a real story about a splinter group of Borg who talk some people into assimilation. The Happy Borg would be a real paradigm shift.