Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

Walter.Horvath
Posts: 933
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:33 pm UTC
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Walter.Horvath » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:42 am UTC

So you'd just somehow break the simulation and claim victory?

From the point of view of whoever is administering the test, you've succeeded in finding a loophole in the programming, something that obviously is impossible while commanding a real ship. Which is the purpose of the exercise.

User avatar
Yuri2356
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:00 pm UTC

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Yuri2356 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:31 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Indeed, Kirk's solution as portrayed in the SNES Starfleet Academy game involved him hailing the Klingons - something normally not possible in the simulation.

Still, maybe you could work with proving that the other elements of the simulation that you can interact with are constructs?

Don't think that'd work either. The bridge crew are a mix of other students and instructors, and your only interaction with the KM crew is the distress signal. I doubt you ship's enlisted crew are much different than the bridge. Those who aren't people undergoing testing are probably nothing more than numbers on a spreadsheet.

User avatar
Sir_Elderberry
Posts: 4206
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:50 pm UTC
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Contact:

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:25 am UTC

Er, this is how things would go.
Captain, the Klingons have warped in and are powering up their weapons.
Wait! This is all a simulation! None of these lives are real. Therefore, begin autodestruct.
...Captain, we know that. That's really not the point.
I refuse to take part in this charade.
Enjoy your failing grade, sir.

Remember, Kirk was put on trial for his "solution". So, anyway, let's skip over the silliness and look not at how Ender would "pass" the KM, but how he would handle it. There are two situations like this in the first book: The Giant's Drink and the final Bugger battle. In both situations, he is given two options, both of which lead to death. (Well, the death of the entity taking the orders--his avatar or the ships.) He solves the problem by taking an option so unthinkable that most people would instantly recoil from the idea of it, either burrowing through an eye or blowing up a planet.

So, the question is, what sort of option is totally ignored by a reasonable person when taking the KM? Blowing up the KM presents itself, but presumably Ender is still operating with the objective "save the people on the KM". From here, of course, the possibilities are endless. Is he willing to sacrifice his ship, if it saves the KM? Maybe he shoots the KM to make it appear dead, drops a buoy on a delay timer to call for more help later, and tries to take the Klingons elsewhere.

Of course, we should notice something. The Giant's Drink is being run by an AI that decides to let Ender's solution work. The Bugger War was a real war, so something plausible could actually work. Remember, this is a computer programmed to make a no-win situation, and it's completely in control of the simulation. It can make equipment fail or cease to operate for no good reason. It can make enemies you've never heard of suddenly become massive threats. It can do awful things to the space around you just because. It's like a Star Trek writer. Could Ender beat God?

Fact is, the only way to actually "beat" the simulation, is to beat the computer. Which has to be done beforehand.
http://www.geekyhumanist.blogspot.com -- Science and the Concerned Voter
Belial wrote:You are the coolest guy that ever cooled.

I reiterate. Coolest. Guy.

Well. You heard him.

User avatar
Jorpho
Posts: 6276
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:31 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Jorpho » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:21 am UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:From the point of view of whoever is administering the test, you've succeeded in finding a loophole in the programming, something that obviously is impossible while commanding a real ship.
Come now, stranger things have happened in Star Trek than a real ship being caught in a computer program.

User avatar
Indon
Posts: 4433
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:21 pm UTC
Location: Alabama :(
Contact:

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Indon » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:42 am UTC

He could also try and teleport the warp core out of the ship, which would destabilize it and cause it to generate a subspace explosion (which does, in fact, cause a shockwave in a vacuum) in an attempt to just kill everyone involved.
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

My blog, now rarely updated.

Image

Minchandre
Posts: 524
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:36 am UTC

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Minchandre » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:06 am UTC

Things we know about Ender that conveniently support my solution:

-He thinks in the big picture
-When he acts, he acts decisively
-He has a bit of a martyr complex
-He's not afraid to make sacrifices
-When he gets pissed, he breaks things

My solution: upon receiving the distress beacon, he frags the KM. Before even sensing the Klingons.

Later, in the disciplinary hearing, he explains:

COMMANDANT: WTF, Mate?
ENDER: I acted in the best interests of the Federation.
COMMANDANT: O RLY?
ENDER: Had I tendered assistance to the Kobayashi Maru, the Klingons would no doubt have taken offense, and this may have sparked a war.
COMMANDANT: Yes, but you didn't just not assist, you destroyed the ship.
ENDER: Yes. Had I simply allowed the vessel to die in Klingon space, the Federation may well have taken it as a casus belli, and declared war. At the very least, it would have led to a significant heating of relations, making a war that much more likely. When I destroyed the KM, I, a single rogue captain, committed an atrocious act. I would be brought back, stripped of my rank, and imprisoned. If the Federation weren't a bunch of pussies, I would be executed. One way or another, though, peace would be maintained.
COMMANDANT: Ender, you so crazy!

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26508
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:08 pm UTC

Except.. again.. to get within firing range (since ships in Star Trek have such a thing), Klingons would appear as if from nowhere and start blasting.

It's a shame Scotty's solution isn't canon.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
zombiefeynman
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:16 pm UTC

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby zombiefeynman » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:39 pm UTC

Indon wrote:He could also try and teleport the warp core out of the ship, which would destabilize it and cause it to generate a subspace explosion (which does, in fact, cause a shockwave in a vacuum) in an attempt to just kill everyone involved.


I don't think killing everyone involved counts as victory, but aside from that yes. Transporter+cleverness=Suicide Nova.

User avatar
Sir_Elderberry
Posts: 4206
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:50 pm UTC
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Contact:

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:05 pm UTC

Except beaming a warp core out would require dropping shields. Which is a bad idea.
http://www.geekyhumanist.blogspot.com -- Science and the Concerned Voter
Belial wrote:You are the coolest guy that ever cooled.

I reiterate. Coolest. Guy.

Well. You heard him.

User avatar
Yuri2356
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:00 pm UTC

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Yuri2356 » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:49 am UTC

There's also that whole issue of disconnecting your ships main power supply in the middle of battle...

User avatar
Sir_Elderberry
Posts: 4206
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:50 pm UTC
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Contact:

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:50 am UTC

Yuri2356 wrote:There's also that whole issue of disconnecting your ships main power supply in the middle of battle...

I assumed they meant the KM's warp core. Ender's ship's warp core could be ejected the old-fashioned way. Hideously bad idea, but eh.
http://www.geekyhumanist.blogspot.com -- Science and the Concerned Voter
Belial wrote:You are the coolest guy that ever cooled.

I reiterate. Coolest. Guy.

Well. You heard him.

Meloncov
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:52 am UTC

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Meloncov » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:32 am UTC

My guess is that he would fundamentally do the same thing as Kirk, but make the shifts in the program subtle enough that it takes the teachers days, if not weeks, to figure out what he did. Say, subtly changes the AI to make a diplomatic solution possible.

This assuming he's in a reasonably good mood before hand.

User avatar
Sir_Elderberry
Posts: 4206
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:50 pm UTC
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Contact:

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:00 pm UTC

Meloncov wrote:My guess is that he would fundamentally do the same thing as Kirk, but make the shifts in the program subtle enough that it takes the teachers days, if not weeks, to figure out what he did. Say, subtly changes the AI to make a diplomatic solution possible.

This assuming he's in a reasonably good mood before hand.

Any solution that is...well, a solution to the actual problem, is a blatant violation of the point of the test (to face death and failure.) It's going to be noticed. Besides, Spock's in the other room.
http://www.geekyhumanist.blogspot.com -- Science and the Concerned Voter
Belial wrote:You are the coolest guy that ever cooled.

I reiterate. Coolest. Guy.

Well. You heard him.

User avatar
zombiefeynman
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:16 pm UTC

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby zombiefeynman » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

That's the whole point of Ender! He doesn't care about conforming to some arbitrary rules set by higher up - his version of 'win' means 'beat my enemy, whoever I think my enemy is,' especially if the enemy is the higher ups. At the two most epic points in the book - the 2v1 fight and the planet - he decides that the teachers are the enemy. IIRC, he nukes the planet because he thinks it might crash the simulator and/or disqualify him on moral grounds. He's not going to conform to the scenario, because it's a no-win scenario. Sure, there might be some loopholes with teleporters, warp cores, and physics, but those are holes in the universe, not the scenario. The OMGWTF thing about Kirk winning at KM was him doing exactly what Ender does best - fight the teachers instead of the test.
Last edited by zombiefeynman on Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:12 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Sir_Elderberry
Posts: 4206
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:50 pm UTC
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Contact:

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:09 pm UTC

Yeah, but the person who proposed that he manage to win without the teachers realizing it for a little while was missing the point that the test isn't a "test" in the sense of being winnable. No matter what, it's supposed to teach you to deal with death. He can sabotage it or mess with the teachers, but he can't really "win", because there in the 2v1 and at the end, he realizes that the objective isn't what everyone thinks it is. It's not "kill everyone else" it's "achieve one small goal that makes killing everyone else unnecessary". In the KM, there isn't an everyone else to kill, and there isn't a goal to achieve. The point of the test is to fail you, so you learn that you're not perfect.
http://www.geekyhumanist.blogspot.com -- Science and the Concerned Voter
Belial wrote:You are the coolest guy that ever cooled.

I reiterate. Coolest. Guy.

Well. You heard him.

User avatar
zombiefeynman
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:16 pm UTC

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby zombiefeynman » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:23 pm UTC

Sure. If you follow the teachers' expectations and actually treat it like a real test, attack the klingons with phasers and torpedoes, it's impossible to win, as I understand it. In that situation, I'd say Ender still has a leg up by way of being a tactical genius, but he would still 'lose.'

User avatar
Sir_Elderberry
Posts: 4206
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:50 pm UTC
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Contact:

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:29 pm UTC

zombiefeynman wrote:Sure. If you follow the teachers' expectations and actually treat it like a real test, attack the klingons with phasers and torpedoes, it's impossible to win, as I understand it. In that situation, I'd say Ender still has a leg up by way of being a tactical genius, but he would still 'lose.'

As someone mentioned, Scotty tried doing some sort of neat physics trick that should have let him "win". The computer spawned the entire Klingon navy on him.
http://www.geekyhumanist.blogspot.com -- Science and the Concerned Voter
Belial wrote:You are the coolest guy that ever cooled.

I reiterate. Coolest. Guy.

Well. You heard him.

User avatar
zombiefeynman
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:16 pm UTC

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby zombiefeynman » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:40 pm UTC

Well there
Sir_Elderberry wrote:As someone mentioned, Scotty tried doing some sort of neat physics trick that should have let him "win". The computer spawned the entire Klingon navy on him.
I haven't seen/read whatever that was. Did they give him the victory? Or did the computer navy eliminate him? As I understand it, the computer would have simply kept throwing klingons until he died.

User avatar
frezik
Posts: 1336
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:52 pm UTC
Location: Schrödinger's Box

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby frezik » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:47 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Any solution that is...well, a solution to the actual problem, is a blatant violation of the point of the test (to face death and failure.) It's going to be noticed. Besides, Spock's in the other room.


I'd argue that a student being unwilling to accept an unwinable scenario gives you insight into their character, thus fulfilling the practical requirements of the test.

Actually, I just thought of a neat solution. You send your shuttles (warp-capable...usually...) to the KM, and take your ship into the neutral zone.


Shuttles usually weren't warp capable until the Runabouts came around in TNG. But they can accelerate to relativistic velocities pretty quickly, and you can probably fit a lot of antimatter canisters on board.

I was thinking about a solution involving Corbomite (Kirk's non-simulated solution to a few no-win scenarios), but I think the simulated Klingons would just ignore it.

Peter Kirk's solution was apparently to challenge the Klingon commander to hand-to-hand combat, effectively ceasing hostilities while his crew rescued the KM. The scenario would obviously have to be changed after relations between the Federation and Klingons changed, probably to Romulans. But how do you pull the same trick here with Romulans? Challenge them to a game of chess?
I do not agree with the beer you drink, but will defend to the death your right to drink it


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 115 guests