Caught up in a Catch 22

A “catch 22” for those that don’t know is a term that came from the famous book about WW2 bomber pilots who were forever caught up in an impossible position. It can be distilled down into the simple choice between stating you are insane and thus no longer fit for duty and being denied being declared insane because only a sane person would like to stop flying in the bombing raids.

My favourite part of the book is the end result of a world filled with “Catch 22”’s. Where wanting to progress in this world forces people to plan and execute very successful bombing raids on their own airfield and base. A result clearly not intended by any of the people involved in the creation of the parts that make up the “Catch 22”’s.

“Catch 22”’s are clearly a great reason to always value individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Because they get their strength and are created by those processes and in most places they override the both the people they are there to serve and the people who created them. So it’s pointless getting frustrated by the people who create them because they most likely value processes more than you do and more likely more deeply caught up.  

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