Kobayashi Maru

by Captain Walker

Categories: Humanities, Psychology & Philosophy

If you think this is going to be straightforward, you are in the wrong place. This is not really going to be about the Kobayashi Maru.

At first I will give a brief description of what the Kobayashi Maru is about. This is not really about sci-fi. In essence it was about a no-win scenario and how Capt Kirk dealt with it. It was a simulated wargame. The simulation was designed to fail candidates who were trying to qualify for Starfleet. The object of that was to see how they would cope in no-win scenarios. So passing the test was irrelevant.

The only person to conquer the Kobayashi Maru in the history of Starfleet was Capt Kirk. He was specially commended for his novel solution which some say was cheating the scenario.

Avoid looking at the video below as that is the final explanation of the situation that occurred today and it wasn’t a Kobayashi Maru situation.

I came across a lawyer on some website who stated that the resignation of a Chief Justice was the judicial equivalent of the Kobayashi Maru. Focus on the word resignation. I took issue with this interpretation as I knew based on the exact facts in this scenario that it had nothing to do with resignation. In fact it was quite the opposite. That is, it was about not giving up in a no-win scenario but instead finding a novel solution, as you will see eventually Capt Kirk was commended for.

But in discussing this gross error by the lawyer with another legally qualified person (who is not a lawyer) I had provided a YouTube link to a one minute clip of the Captain Kirk himself explaining how he won over the Kobayashi Maru. I asked that the clip be viewed as the hard evidence was that the Kobayashi Maru scenario had nothing to do with giving up or resignation. The individual acknowledged the no-win scenario, and claimed that they had been aware of what it meant but admitted not viewing the clip shortly after it was provided. I don’t care why!

A letter was drafted which that individual would submit on my behalf, as I did not wish to be identified. This is a regular arrangement so I was not imposing anything. But the letter was not meant to address the misrepresentation on the Kobayashi Maru as there were other important legal issues to deal with. I had stated clearly that the Kobayashi Maru mentioned in the lawyer’s article was a distraction and it should be avoided.

I was therefore shocked to see that the final draft of the letter was amended and included a statement that the Kobayashi Maru  was mentioned, and that it was about losing gracefully. It had already been submitted. The words in the final draft were “If XX must resign gracefully (one of the lessons of the Kobayashi Maru test) it should have been done long ago. So this is the exact opposite of the lesson from the Kobayashi Maru. I repeat myself only for clarity that none of the lessons arsing from the Kobayashi Maru is as about resigning in a no-win scenario.

What this meant is that the final amendments to the letter, in effect gave support to the misguided lawyer on an issue that was actually a distraction. Other aspects of their letter appropriately addressed the confused logic of the lawyer. So, to finally lend some sort of support on a matter of distraction was to take away from the impetus of the whole letter. In other words the respondent (the said nonlawyer legally qualified person) who was meant to be opposing the nonsense written by the lawyer, then stupidly lended support by making the same foolish error.

What was more confusing was that the respondent who would submit the letter on my behalf because I did not wish to be named -was also contacted by telephone and told off the misguided interpretation of the Kobayashi Maru and to avoid being engaged on it.

Subsequently when I expressed surprise about the above, I was referred to Wikipedia pages which it was claimed had said that the Kobayashi Maru was about “losing gracefully.” What followed next was my search of all Wikipedia pages on the Kobayashi Maru. Four pages turned up and none of them actually said anything about losing gracefully or implying that losing gracefully was a lesson from the captioned simulated scenario.

There may be a number of reasons how hard evidence of what a thing is becomes the opposite of what it actually is. This is the nature of the human mind. It can create anything it wants to within the domain of thoughts, belief or suppositions. Whether those things match reality appears to be irrelevant. In the above circumstances two highly educated people made the same confused mistake. The latter person, the respondent on my behalf, was provided with the evidence which in one minute would have confirmed that the Kobayashi Maru had nothing to do with resignation whatsoever.

This brings me again to what people do with evidence or when evidence is provided. The following list is not exhaustive:
1. They avoid evidence.
2. They misinterpret evidence.
3. They then seek to justify misinterpretations of the evidence.
4. They rubbish the evidence so as to make it inconsequential.
5. They put their own meanings on the evidence.
6. Then the create plausible reasons for doing all the above.

In providing the one minute clip of the Kobayashi Maru, I am totally uninterested in any supportive opinions or advice, or alternative perspectives. I don’t require assistance in determining for myself that which is as clear as daylight. I am also totally uninterested in debating whether cheating a system is a commendable solution in a no win scenario, where saving the lives of many are involved. This is not the focus of this exploration. End off on that.

In general people think they understand certain things and they may well nod their heads about it but in reality they do not understand.

The Kobayashi Maru is about an impossible no-win scenario. Normally what people would be expected to do in situations like that, is to resign gracefully. But the reality and the lesson emerging from the Kobayashi Maru is that a novel alternative solution was found instead of resignation. Like OMG – I can’t help but repeat myself that it wasn’t about resigning gracefully or otherwise!

What this means to me is that people put their conscious or unconscious interpretations about what they expect to happen in a particular scenario and turn that into fact, even after they are provided with evidence.

I don’t trust human nature. People come to sense that I don’t trust them and they do show non-verbals signs of discomfort in my presence. But it is not about me not trusting them as individuals. They are human – they have human nature – and human nature is to mess up in the worse ways possible, on very basic things.

Disclaimer & Guidance

The reading of posts on this blog is subject to the Terms & Conditions. Unpalatable truths and personal experiences may be told. Nothing posted on this blog is directed at any identifiable person. Should any person or organisation reading this blog find something that makes them feel or know that they  are being referred to, it does not mean that that person or organisation is in fact identified or identifiable. ‘Stupid‘ is an impish figment of my imagination and does not represent any known individual(s) or group(s).


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