Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Playing to Draw

In the sub-plot of last night's episode of StarTrek The Next Generation called Peak Performance, the doctor challenges the arrogant Kolrami to a game of strategema with the ship's android, Data. The doctor thinks Data will beat him but Data loses the game. The result throws Data into a state of no-confidence. Data decides to do a self-diagnostic to ascertain why he lost the game. After the doctor and the counsellor have failed to persuade Data to return to work, it is now up to Captain Picard to convince Data. Picard tells Data that he needs him back on duty. He also reminds Data that it is possible to do everything right and still lose.

At the end of the episode, Data plays Kolrami in another game of strategema. After the game has been going for a long time Kolrami gives up, accusing Data of making a fool out of him. Data is asked how he won. Data says he didn't win he simply changed his strategy. While Kolrami was playing to win, Data was playing to draw. The game could have gone like this forever. Data's colleagues convince him that he did win.

In a world of competition, most people play to win. Imagine a world where everyone plays to draw. Will that ever catch on, I wonder?

Incidentally, today's funny quote of the day is as follows:

"It is necessary for me to establish a winner image. Therefore, I have to beat somebody." Richard M. Nixon
How can anyone win or lose when we are all one? I believe the game of life is about playing to draw.

Everyone's a winner!