Scribe of wisdom

Kobayashi Maru

It a training exercise in the fictional Star Trek universe designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. The Kobayashi Maru test was first depicted in the opening scene of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

The test is named after the Kobayashi Maru, a stranded space vessel that plays a central role in the test.The notional primary goal of the exercise is to rescue the civilian vessel Kobayashi Maru in a simulated battle with the Klingons.

The disabled ship is located in the Klingon Neutral Zone, and any Starfleet ship entering the zone would cause an interstellar border incident. The approaching cadet crew must decide whether to attempt rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew—endangering their own ship and lives—or leave the Kobayashi Maru to certain destruction.

If the cadet chooses to attempt rescue, the simulation is designed to guarantee that the cadet’s ship is destroyed with the loss of all crew members. In short, it’s a no win situaton.

Who won over this situation and how

James Kirk (commander of the Enterprise in The Original Series and first six films) developed a novel solution. He cheated. He took the test multiple times, because he refused to accept a failure.

Instead, he gained access to the simulator prior to taking the test, and altered the parameters in the software. He is known as the only person to “beat” the “no-win scenario”.

Further interpretations

Kobayashi Maru as a verb can then mean two things:

>Completely and utterly failing, especially if somebody else set you up to fail so they can see how you handle it.
Cheating and getting away with it.

>Depending on how you feel about deliberate no-win scenarios, it’s cheating in either direction.

If he said it the other way, that somebody had Kobayashi Maru’d him, that would indicate he felt like somebody had cheated him.

If someone says, that somebody had Kobayashi Maru’d him, that would indicate he felt like somebody had cheated him or he is made to encounter a no-win situation.

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