Kobayashi Maru

Koboyashi Maru is a no-win training exercise in the Star Trek Universe given to all cadets at the Starfleet Academy. It’s primarily used to assess a cadet’s discipline, character and command capabilities when facing an impossible situation, as there is no (legitimate) strategy that will result in a successful outcome.

Here’s a description of the exercise:

The test primarily consisted of the cadet placed in command of a starship. The ship would soon receive a distress signal from the Kobayashi Maru, a civilian freighter within the Klingon Neutral Zone that had been heavily disabled. Being the only ship in range, the cadet usually either chose to withdraw from the rescue mission or enter the neutral zone and rescue the vessel in risk of violating the treaties. The ship would then be confronted by Klingon K’t’inga-class battle cruisers, which typically engaged in a firefight.

It was considered an absolute no-win scenario because it was virtually impossible for the cadet to simultaneously save the Kobayashi Maru, avoid a fight with the Klingons and escape from the neutral zone with the starship intact.

Despite the no-win scenario, Captain James Kirk was the first to defeat the Kobayashi Maru test.

How did he do it?

Before his third try, he reprogrammed the simulator so that it was possible to rescue the freighter.

Though some say that Kirk cheated, others say that he applied out of the box thinking to step out of the rules of the game and redefine it, thus winning the unwinnable game.

In any game, this is an opton that we have that we usually forget. That we can step out of the game and redefine the rules in our favor.

April 23, 2021

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