The no-win situation. A catch-22. My Star Trek love insists that I use the Kobayashi Maru despite the fact that it 1.) proves what an enormous nerd I am and 2.) very few people know what I’m saying when I speak of it.
Have you been in one of these? Where any solution results in some kind of suffering? Jesus Christ, it’s a bucket of suck, just let me tell you. And what’s worse? A no-win situation – a Kobayashi Maru – isn’t always finite. Because you’re stuck in the middle, see? You’re in a run-down between second and third and neither baseman commits to catching you, so you stay in the middle where it’s safe. No decisions, because the solutions either way present you with no real winning answer.
It could go on forever. And while you’re in the middle, there’s suffering and pain too.
For over a year now, I’ve been stuck in the Kobayashi Maru. Hell, I even named one of my mixes for this past summer “Beating the Kobayashi Maru” because I still believed, even after a year, that there was a way to end this test. And that’s what the Kobayashi Maru was. It was a test for Starfleet cadets to see how courageous, intelligent and noble they could be when faced with a no-win scenario. Jump to Wikipedia if you really want to get your nerd on.
So there’s a noble decision, a cowardly decision and then there’s the “Think outside the box” decision that someone like Captain Kirk employed. A way of changing the parameters of the situation so drastically that it negates the thing in question.
In real life, it’s sort of hard to do this, especially when human beings are involved instead of computer simulations. You can’t simply change someone suddenly to no longer feel pain. Regardless of the decision, it’s more than likely someone will be hurt. So you try to do the least amount of damage possible, and the person that ends up hurting the most is you.
I’m no martyr. I put myself willingly into this Kobayashi Maru and sooner or later I’ve got to figure out a way to end it. But not today. Today I stayed squarely in the middle and continued to hope, as I’ve done for so long, that the situation would somehow change all around me.
More and more that feels like the coward’s decision. And that disgusts me.