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  #11  
Old 10-06-2009, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Commodore View Post

Yep, that's the part of the whole thing that I took to heart more than anything else.
Exactly!!
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  #12  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Howlin' Wolf View Post
It wouldn't be so much the captains actions or lack thereof but his reason and intent. I think Sulu suspected a trap and refused to render any aid at all during his test but eventually commanded Excelsior.
Agreed, the point is to test the officer's capability, character and ability to deal with an impossible situation.

If Sulu could make the decision to let innocent people die without even trying then that would be his decision.

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Originally Posted by Commodore View Post
They've got some pretty good ideas in here on this exact same thread:
http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=104646

I've never believed that a single ship violating the Klingon Neutral Zone would lead to a war between the Federation and the Empire--a large fleet, yes, but a single ship, no (as was indeed the case in "Balance of Terror"). As also implied in that TOS episode, violating a Neutral Zone pretty much meant the ship was considered expendable by its government and its capture was to be expected, per the treaty.

The only thing is that Klingons don't take prisoners...

I think we have to take the possibility of a Federation/Klingon war out of the equation and just concentrate on the issue that your ship will be destroyed no matter what. IMO, the Kobayashi Maru Scenario isn't a test of a cadet's combat tactics or even courage--because you're toast from the very start--but it's a test of how well a potential commander performs when facing a situtation where the chances of surviving are zero. Winning the Kobayashi Maru Scenario actually defeats its purpose, IMO.

Kirk may have won a commendation for original thinking for reprogramming the scenario so he could win, but I think he otherwise failed the test.
It's pretty much are you going to flake out or keep control of yourself and ship til the end.

We could assume that the test represents a significantly rigged escalation of circumstances that is heightened for the purposes of testing the candidate.

I would agree with your assessment that Kirk did not really 'pass' the test as it was intended. He did fail (in both universes) but then that's also because Kirk's basic persona was incompatible with it meant he would refuse to accept the lesson that was the point of it.

So, instead of learning something - he just changes the rules to suit himself.

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Originally Posted by Commodore View Post
I think it's totally about how well one performs because no matter what everyone dies. Rescuing a civilian ship in distress is just the excuse for why one is violating the Neutral Zone to begin with, I believe. I see the test as being deliberately unfairly rigged so that there is no way to truly to win at all--I would imagine that they would keep sending an endless number of Klingon ships after you--so I think the Kobayashi Maru Scenario is really something of a psych test to see if a cadet keeps his cool or completely crumbles in the face of imminent destruction. To me, how well a cadet commands his crew during such a situation is perhaps an even bigger part of the test.

EDIT: I'm not trying to say that is how the Kobayashi Maru Scenario actually works--nobody really knows that--but that's just my interpretation of it based on what little info we really have on its purpose.
I think it's a well considered one.
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  #13  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Samuel View Post
Hmmm...

The whole point of a neutral zone is to provide a buffer, one function of which is to tone down conflicts as opposed to ones where one party ventures directly into anothers territory. A violation itself is mainly a political problem. The other is an invasion. There would certainly be implied rules in this regard, but not official ones. The question then becomes whether or not the test is accurate in that the Klingons would fire first to escalate said political problem into a much worse one. But of course since the test cheats.... well...

Treaties prevent putting weapons in space. I suppose one could call it a neutral zone of sorts. But if the US, Russia, or China did would another nation shoot it down or simply raise bloody hell? And we cannot forget the U2. In that case it was an actual invasion of Soviet airspace and they shot it down. They always knew such flights werent 'weather' planes but they did not declare war. Instead they used it as a huge political issue to their advantage.

Really its just a script problem and the writers should have removed the neutral zone entirely. So its not a violation but an actual incursion into Klingon space and they would have been justified in firing. Much more believable and it presents a bigger dilemma. Ah well, 25 years too late.
Just an idea, but perhaps the real Kobayashi Maru did drift off into Klingon space and was destroyed there.

To make the story suitable for a test, the KM only drifts into the neutral zone where a rescue is possible, where you don't know whether you will be intercepted by Klingons or not (who would by the way break the treaty as well by their cloaked presence).
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  #14  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:57 AM
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I think any assessment of Kirk's Kobyashi Maru test has to include the outcome of the subsequent inquiry, as well.

If you begin and end the assessment of Kirk's attitude with the altered test itself, yes, it looks like Kirk is just being arrogant and self-serving; however, extending the assessment to cover his two previous attempts and his testimony during the inquiry that most-likely followed in both
histories, you get a better understanding of his motivations and fundamental beliefs.

Kirk doesn't believe in the no-win scenario. It was something that was likely taught by his father in the prime universe and taught by the lessons of his father's death in the ST09 universe. To delve a little deeper into that idea (beyond the one-liner "I don't like to lose"), this means that Kirk believes that there's no situation that warrants just "accepting" death/failure/etc.

Now, the definition of a "win" can be subjective (like with George Kirk's case...his "win" was the survival of his wife, newborn son and some 800 other souls), but the principle is that you never give up trying to figure out a way to make the mission successful, save those lives, rescue that ship, prevent the war, etc.

Perhaps it was that determined nature that led the academic council to conclude that Kirk didn't just indulge his ego, but actually had a legitimate and worthwhile belief driving his actions -- beliefs that would serve him well as a starship commander.
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  #15  
Old 10-06-2009, 10:07 AM
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Well said, TTJones. I think Pike's comment about the lack of Kirk-style (George and James) in Starfleet, the lack of creative, out-of-the-box thinking perfectly tied the KM, which would otherwise have been just a referrence to TWOK, in with the main plot.
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  #16  
Old 10-06-2009, 10:10 AM
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I was watching The Devil's Advocate the other day and Al Pacino has a line that basically states that pressure makes some people focus and some people crack. That is what the test is all about, to see whether or not you are the type of person who can summon his talent under pressure, or whether you will fold when the going gets rough. It's meant to push you to the breaking point, in my opinion.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJJones View Post
I think any assessment of Kirk's Kobyashi Maru test has to include the outcome of the subsequent inquiry, as well.

If you begin and end the assessment of Kirk's attitude with the altered test itself, yes, it looks like Kirk is just being arrogant and self-serving; however, extending the assessment to cover his two previous attempts and his testimony during the inquiry that most-likely followed in both
histories, you get a better understanding of his motivations and fundamental beliefs.

Kirk doesn't believe in the no-win scenario. It was something that was likely taught by his father in the prime universe and taught by the lessons of his father's death in the ST09 universe. To delve a little deeper into that idea (beyond the one-liner "I don't like to lose"), this means that Kirk believes that there's no situation that warrants just "accepting" death/failure/etc.

Now, the definition of a "win" can be subjective (like with George Kirk's case...his "win" was the survival of his wife, newborn son and some 800 other souls), but the principle is that you never give up trying to figure out a way to make the mission successful, save those lives, rescue that ship, prevent the war, etc.

Perhaps it was that determined nature that led the academic council to conclude that Kirk didn't just indulge his ego, but actually had a legitimate and worthwhile belief driving his actions -- beliefs that would serve him well as a starship commander.
I did have the theory that, given how easily his deception would be uncovered - given that I would expect the anomalous result of a 'win' to be thoroughly investigated - was that Kirk was possibly trying to also open up discussion of the KM in a wider forum.

But it also ties in with his attitude being that which Pike felt Starfleet had lost (and arguably, this could be veiled reference to the mire of 'safety' that the whole franchise had found itself in by that time).
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  #18  
Old 10-06-2009, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Captain Tom Coughlin View Post
I was watching The Devil's Advocate the other day and Al Pacino has a line that basically states that pressure makes some people focus and some people crack. That is what the test is all about, to see whether or not you are the type of person who can summon his talent under pressure, or whether you will fold when the going gets rough. It's meant to push you to the breaking point, in my opinion.
Though it remains undeniable that Kirk circumvented that intent by refusing to accept the conditions.

He was never pushed to that point until TWOK.
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  #19  
Old 10-06-2009, 10:28 AM
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Really..how hard could this test be???
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  #20  
Old 10-06-2009, 10:29 AM
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Though it remains undeniable that Kirk circumvented that intent by refusing to accept the conditions.

He was never pushed to that point until TWOK.
I Absolutely agree with that.
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