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Old 10-05-2009, 06:28 PM
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Default 'correct' Outcome Of Kobayashi Maru?

Broken down to the bare bones, the Kobayashi Maru scenario leaves the student two possible courses of action:

1: Decide to remain within Federation space and allow the civilian ship & passengers to be destroyed by hostile forces. Entering the Neutral Zone will almost certainly trigger an interstellar war between the Federation and a hostile race.

2: Decide to enter the Neural Zone, drive off the hostile vessels and save the civilian ship and passengers. As the Neutral Zone has been breached, an insterstellar war will result.


Bearing in mind that a war with the enemy race will lead to a loss of life hundreds of times greater than the number of, albeit unfortunate, souls on the civilian ship, can rescuing them REALLY be justified?

The Kobayashi Maru scenario is described as 'no win' - whichever course of action the student decides will result in loss of life. While this is true, surely saving the lives of the people on the civilian vessel but triggering a conflict that will cost the lives of hundreds of thousands can not be placed as an equal outcome as preventing said war at the cost of maybe a hundred lives?

I put it to you can the 'correct' course of action to take when presented with the Kobayashi Maru scenario is, as unpalatable as it may be to a Starfleet officer, to let the civilian ship be destroyed.

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Old 10-05-2009, 09:38 PM
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It depends on whether entering the Neutral Zone would trigger a war or not. The Neutral Zones of both the Klingons and the Romulans have been voilated before (sometimes with consent - true) and the matters were settled without entering into a larger conflict.

Certainly, leaving the ship for the Klingons would be an option, but it may miss the intention. The KM appears to be a psychological test of the Captain's ability to deal with a situation that gets as bad as it can get.

If the officer chooses to do nothing when civilians are in danger - what might that suggest about the cadet in question?
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:54 PM
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some one would need to break the tready eventually so why not do it whil saving the ship
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin View Post
If the officer chooses to do nothing when civilians are in danger - what might that suggest about the cadet in question?

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.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:08 AM
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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.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:44 AM
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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.
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:46 AM
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Yet no matter how well you perform you're going to come out with '0'. I don't think it's so much how well you perform since the only achievable score is '0' but more a matter of loss of life. I think that's the primary factor. How do you save the most lives? Save the KM? Let it be destroyed? With all the implications of war, whether it be by a single ship crossing the border, breaking the treaty, or a fleet, which ever is the case, the determining factor is how to avoid loss of life, to avoid war, because that is the worse case scenario.

Simple fact is, no one wins, it's a hard test to swallow because of that, but loss of life is at the forefront IMO. What do you do to ensure the least loss of life? I think that is the true question of the test.
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:11 AM
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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.
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Last edited by Commodore : 10-06-2009 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:32 AM
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As they said in TWOK the KM is a test of charater, how you face death, the ultimate no win senario.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zardoz View Post
As they said in TWOK the KM is a test of charater, how you face death, the ultimate no win senario.

Yep, that's the part of the whole thing that I took to heart more than anything else.
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