The Kobayashi Maru test is one of the major plot points of the new Star Trek movie, a connection to The Wrath of Kahn that is brilliant as well as giving them a way to use the Klingons in the show without actually using them.
But is The Kobayashi Maru a test that anyone would ever use? Can you truely imagine a organization teaching its people to fight by putting them in an unwinnable situation?
When I was a kid and first saw it I remember thinking that it was a stupid idea and that Kirk's solution to cheat was the only possible solution, but as I have gotten over I have learned to understand that there really are no win situations in life. There are times when there are only bad choices, and by making them understand that it might be useful.
There is a second reason that impassable tests should be given, not just to military officers but to students. Humility. There are far to many children who graduate high school, and even a few who graduate college who have never truly been tested in the sense of being pushed past their limit. In fact I suspect that many people can be pushed beyond their limit is in military boot camp.
Now comes the issue of cheating. Kirk's solution to the no-win situation is cheating. This is examined in two Star Trek movies now and it can be argued as a elegent solution. If you are given a situation wh
ere there are two outcomes both of which are unaccetble and a third which is unattanable without cheating but far preferable then cheat.
Yet as you look more carefully I see the results of the newest movie being the likely outcome. That is being brought up on charges for cheating. This brings up a third question about Kirk, is it so important for him to win at this simulation that everyone fails that he is willing to risk his career or did he know that he would get away with it?
There was of course no punishment for failing The Kobayashi Maru so what was it that drove Kirk to such lengths to pass the test? Is it simply his inability to accept defeat, or a ego that was never put into check by the test because he cheated?
This is one of the small things about this in the new movie that bothered me. Though he had cheated and he knew that he could win the test being so seemingly uninterested in the test in the new movie made it seem as if he didn't care all that much about Star Fleet or the test. Cheating should have been a big deal to him even if the test wasn't.