Sunday, August 24, 2008

kobayashi 'needl

Saavik: Permission to speak freely, sir?
Kirk: Granted.
Saavik: I do not believe this was a fair test of my command abilities.
Kirk: And why not?
Saavik: Because... there was no way to win.
Kirk: A no-win situation is a possibility every commander may face. Has that never occurred to you?
Saavik: No sir, it has not...
in one of the many star trek movies, there's a reference to a no-win scenario called "the kobayashi maru."

it's a character test for cadets, in which the trainee is faced with two bad tactical options, and has to choose between them.

this week, life imitated art at the spaceneedl household.

on one side, mrs. spaceneedl, taking the week off, with the children out of camp. on the other side, an excess of work at spaceneedl sprockets, with imminent deadlines tied to major trade shows.

mrs. spaceneedl: can't you just take friday off? summer's nearly over, you've taken no time off, and we want to spend some time with you.

spaceneedl's boss: the team needs to work longer hours to get everything done.

huh. these directives appear to be mutually exclusive, don't they? take the day off, deadlines slip, deliverables are imperiled. spaceneedl's boss questions priorities, commitment to work, and future of employment.

go to work, mrs. spaceneedl questions priorities, questions commitment to wife and children, questions future of relationship.

huh. call me crazy, but this appears to be a kobayashi maru scenario.
Saavik: Admiral, may I ask you a question?
Kirk: What's on your mind, Lieutenant?
Saavik: The Kobayashi Maru, sir.
Kirk: Are you asking me if we're playing out that scenario now?
Saavik: On the test, sir. Will you tell me what you did? I would really like to know.
McCoy: Lieutenant, you are looking at the only Starfleet cadet who ever beat the no-win scenario.
Saavik: How?
Kirk: I reprogrammed the simulation so it was possible to rescue the ship.
Saavik: What?
David Marcus: He cheated.
Kirk: I changed the conditions of the test. I got a commendation for original thinking. I don't like to lose.
Saavik: Then you never faced that situation. Faced death.
Kirk: I don't believe in the no-win scenario.
i don't believe in the no-win scenario, either. i do, however, believe in financial stability.

i went to work.

lots of work got done. boss was complimentary.

mrs. spaceneedl had a conniption.


labor day weekend is coming up. after that, the children go back to school, fall travel schedules kick into gear, children are one year closer to college.

how does one change the conditions of this test? maybe i can take this friday off.

then again, it's possible the borg are already inside the perimeter, and resistance is futile...

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