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In The Raven episode of Star Trek: Voyager, Seven of Nine, who is disconnected from The Collective, is able to recall species numbers, dates, and other details of assimilation for Talaxians (Neelix) and Vulcans (Tuvok).

Does this mean that each Borg drone has an exact copy of the entire collective memory? Or are there any other explanations on how Seven of Nine could remember so many details despite never having taken part in these events, or events prior to her being assimilated?

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    Perhaps the Collective stores information in drones' brains in a similar way to cloud storage, which stores what seems to be one cluster of data across multiple servers. So when she disconnected she took a (relatively) small slice of that knowledge with her. – Brian Ortiz Mar 23 '14 at 16:50
  • An interesting idea, to be honest. I'd propose to formulate this as full answer, so others can beat and kick you for it! :] – trejder Mar 24 '14 at 6:59
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It is physically impossible for any individual drone to store that much knowledge. Bear in mind that Seven's parents were sociologists who were studying the Borg Collective; it makes sense that her mind would be full of interesting tidbits about Borg history, even before her assimilation. Since Borg drones retain their memories of their lives as individuals, it makes sense that she would possess this knowledge. It is likely - though never outright stated - that individual drones have information necessary for their duties 'downloaded' into their brains before performing those duties; this is insurance against any communications issues which may leave the drone out of contact with the Collective.

There is evidence of this in Regeneration, where two drones who are out of contact with the Collective are still capable of building both a transmitter and a primitive ship just using their own knowledge.

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No, that would be hugely inefficient and greatly limit the amount of knowledge the Borg collective can accumulate and process.

Borg drones more than likely receive a basic core data set then gradually assimilate information specific to their role as the need arises or as their role changes. Additionally, their cortical implant acts as nodes in a distributed file system for assimilated neural patterns, and their neural processor also records all information received from the collective, giving drones much better memory than the average humanoid.

Lastly, Seven of Nine probably knows more general historic and comprehensive operational/technical knowledge than most drones because she was the tertiary adjunct of Unimatrix 01, a subsection of the collective that worked closely with the Borg Queen.

  • Both your answers are great. But I still can't figure out, how then (if she hasn't possessed entire knowledge of the Borg) she could remember such details like dates and places, where assimilation of many species took place. – trejder Mar 22 '14 at 10:28
  • @trejder: I don't see why she needs to have the entirety of the Borg's collective knowledge in order to have some specific details. – Lèse majesté Mar 22 '14 at 10:52
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    I'm an historian and I cn remember dozens, likely hundreds of dates, people's names, the locations of battles, etc.. And I don't have a bunch of Borg technology stuck in my head (I hope). – James Sheridan Mar 22 '14 at 13:27
  • Maybe my misunderstanding come from the fact, that when Seven of Nine played that part of role, she was acting like she would be reading some small piece of data from a really large database. I nearly have the feeling, that she is actually scanning Neelix with her eyes and scanning "some database" in the same time, to find match! :] – trejder Mar 22 '14 at 20:56
  • @trejder: When I view that scene, I just see her looking at Neelix and then recalling some information that she has on his species. Seven, like most people, has a tendency to direct her eyes to the side when thinking/recalling. That's all that is shown. But even if she had some sort of virtual interface for accessing memories, that scene doesn't suggest she has all of the knowledge of the Borg. – Lèse majesté Mar 23 '14 at 1:22
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I think its more like able to access a Database rather than memory stored in their heads. That's why Pickard severed the spinal column from the Queens head in First Contact, otherwise they could have plugged her in to an access port a steal all the information about technology and whatever the Borg poses.

And as for 7 of 9, it could be because she has parts of the DB stored that she needs to retain for certain things like recognizing species and some technical stuff. But its so much is like she is a computer.

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