"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life."

– Who said it???

Answer all five questions:

Who said it?

When did he/she say it?

What was the game?

What was the resulting outcome? 

What was the surrounding content?


Answers and/or request for clues can be submitted via email: [email protected] and we will post them here. 

Winner will be announced here after the first four team have answered correctly.


Team: Byte Bandits

Who said it? Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 Episode 21 – Peak Performance. 

When did he/she say it? Picard says this quote to Data after a game with Kolrami. 

What was the game? The game was Strategema.

What was the resulting outcome?   The resulting outcome of the rematch between Kolrami and Data was a stalemate, which ended with Kolrami forfeiting.

What was the surrounding content? The surrounding content was Data decided to change his strategy. Instead of playing to win; he chose to defend. Which resulted in the longest game in Strategema history. 


Bonus questions and answer

How do you think what data did can apply to your cyber competitions and to your life?  When Data was not initially successful he chose to change his strategy. He decided to meet Kolrami’s challenge by just defending instead of attacking. This is useful during a competition because there are many different kinds of challenges with many different paths to victory. Being able to change your mind set is the best tool you have. In the real world of cybersecurity forcing a stalemate with criminals is extremely effective. The more difficult the target, the more likely they will give up or maybe even bypass your network entirely. 

Team: Cyberagias Polariton

Who Said It? Jean-Luc Picard 

When did he/she say it? The Next Generation Episode entitled Peak Performance, which aired on July 10, 1989

What was the game? Strategema 

What is the resulting outcome? Data defeats Kolrami by using Kolrami’s temper against him and purposefully going for a stalemate instead of a win.  

What is the surrounding content? Data decides to play a game of Strategema against Kolrami. Data loses, thinking that one of his circuits have malfunctioned. This is when the quote is said, and tells Data, an overachieving droid, that failure is a big part of life. Then, they play another game, and Data decides to learn from his previous mistake, and be patient. He beats Kolrami after 33,000 moves. Kolrami withdraws in anger, and Data’s patience works to his advantage.   

This resulting outcome from Data can also be experienced during cyber-defense, and competitions such as the SoCal Cyber Cup. It is important to be patient, because some challenges will not immediately make sense, and they may not be easy to solve. It is important to use your strengths to your advantage, and be patient, because if you keep looking around the system for clues, you will ultimately reach your goal.   


Bonus question

Why is it so important to have a team?

It is important to have a team so you can bounce ideas off each other and work together to complete a task. It is very important to have a team when being a cyber-defender. One person cannot do everything, and solving tough problems in real-world situations requires collaboration, which allows us to finish tasks in a smaller amount of time and also be more thorough in our work, as our teammates can check each other’s progress. For instance, Picard encourages Data that mistakes are a part of life and motivates him to go on. 

Data’s epiphany allows him to realize that mistakes are a part of life and encourages him to keep trying to beat Kolrami, which he eventually does by using his newfound skill of patience to win the game.

As the Enterprise tows the Hathaway to the nearest starbase, Data and Kolrami engage in a rematch of Strategema. Kolrami is intent on the game, but Data is calm. Both players have made over thirty thousand moves over the course of the record-setting game, and the numbers are still climbing rapidly. Finally, Kolrami throws down his controls in disgust. He accuses Data of making a mockery of him, and storms off. Data explains that instead of playing to win the game, he played for a stalemate, passing up obvious avenues of advancement and simply countering Kolrami’s own advances again and again until Kolrami finally ran out of patience. Thus, Data declared that though he had not strictly defeated Kolrami, he had ”busted him up”.   Overall, the lesson of this episode is clear, that you must be patient in order to win. As Kolrami is not patient, he effectively loses to Data. This lesson applies not just to this episode, but to life in general.

Follow up  

Was it really patience that made Data victorious, was it patience the gave advantage in the wargame in the episode or something else?

Along with patience, another thing leading to Data’s win is also teamwork. When Data loses the first time, he is sad and thinks that his circuits are malfunctioning. But, he has a team including Jean-Luc Picard. With this team, he is able to gain back his confidence and beat Kolrami the second time. Without this team, Data would have just been sad together showing that teamwork is critical to life and achievement. 

Team: CyberAegis Alpha

Who said it? 

Captain Picard 

When did he say it? 

Picard said it in Season 2, Episode 21 of Star Trek: the Next Generation in the episode, “Peak Performance” after Data lost in a game called Strategema.  Data is a machine and lost in the computational game he thought he would win, because machines are superior to non-machines. When Data lost Strategema, he completely lost his confidence in everything, which negatively affected his work on the ship. 

What was the game? 


What was the resulting outcome? 

Because of the encouraging quote, Data tried the competition again.   

The second time, he changed his perspective on Strategema. Instead of focusing on winning, Data played for a stalemate. He even gave up some chances of winning in order to keep playing the game. This frustrated his competitor to the point that he gave up and Data won the rematch. 

What was the surrounding content? 

Data tried again after the encouraging quote from Captain Picard. His whole perspective on the competition changed, and he seemed to be ok with not winning even though he did everything right and should have won. Even though he lost the first game, it doesn’t mean that he is inferior and shouldn’t negatively affect every aspect of his life. It just means that he needs to try again. Sometimes life isn’t fair and doesn’t turn out the way you expect.  

Sometimes luck plays an important role and we can’t control luck. We can, however, control our attitudes and perspectives.  After Picard spoke to him, Data realized that the most important part is trying and playing the game, rather than winning. 


Bonus question

How did the concept presented in this episode can or has helped you in your cyber competitions? How does this make you better cyber defenders?

During competition, we often see problems that seem simple but end up being very difficult, leading us to feel frustrated and discouraged by their complexity. When stuck, we shouldn’t accept it as a failure, but as an opportunity to improve. Staying positive about failure can instill within us a feeling of confidence, as demonstrated by Picard and Data. This concept of keeping an open mind helps us remain mindful of cyber threats and keep our eyes open for hidden dangers in things that seem simple. 

Team: Cyberaegis Charm

Who said it: 

Jean-Luc Picard 

When did he/she said it: 

Star Trek: Next Generation “Peak Performance” act 4 after Data lost to Kolrami in Strategma (originally aired July 10, 1989) 

What was the game: 


What was the resulting outcome: 

Data changes his problem solving approach, and is able to lead the Enterprise to victory against the Hathaway (as well as defuse a situation with the Ferengi). He also changes his approach to the game – in a rematch, he and Kolrami break the record for Strategma score, somewhere around 32000. Ultimately, Kolrami resigns and Data is victorious.  

Quote from original episode: 

“DATA: I simply altered my premise for playing the game. 

RIKER: Explain. 

DATA: Working under the assumption that Kolrami was attempting to win, it is reasonable to assume that he expected me to play for the same goal. 

WESLEY: You didn’t. 

DATA: No. I was playing only for a standoff, a draw. While Kolrami was dedicated to winning, I was able to pass up obvious avenues of advancement and settle for a balance. Theoretically, I should be able to challenge him indefinitely. 

PULASKI: Then you have beaten him. 

DATA: It is a matter of perspective, Doctor. In the strictest sense, I did not win.” 

What was the surrounding context:   

Kolrami is revealed to be a top Strategema player. Doctor Pulaski convinces Data to play a game against Kolrami. Data is able to keep up with Kolarmi for the early game, but ultimately loses 81 to 100. Data expresses his lack of faith in his own ability to both Troi and and Pulaski, claiming “With my repository of knowledge, I expected to perform better against a humanoid life form.” and “Yes. The Captain would be ill advised to rely upon my judgement.” 

Pulaski confesses her worries to Picard. Picard summons Data to his room, where Data attempts to resign as First Officer (“Captain, with all due respect, perhaps it would be better if you choose another to serve as your First Officer.”) It’s at this point that Picard says the famous quote.  


Bonus question

Do you see this as helpful when competing in cyber challenges and working as a cyber defender? Please explain.

 I would agree that this is helpful when competing in cyber challenges; even when we secure something to the best of our ability, there is still a possibility that a hacker can compromise our system. There is no “perfect” defense possible. However, we must always strive towards achieving the best defense we can in order to protect the public and the people around us. This quote teaches us the importance of resilience and determination, especially in the cyber field. Another side to this quote is about learning to accept failure. If we remain stubborn and arrogant in the face of failure, we will never improve; we must learn to adapt and better ourselves to rise up to that challenge. And in the cyber world, if we stay rigid and stagnant because we are too prideful to admit failure, we put both ourselves and the people we need to protect at stake. Instead, it is much better to treat every opportunity as one to learn, and improve ourselves at every opportunity. 


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