Wednesday, August 20, 2008

catch 22

And while we're talking about stuff from novels here....

I had a chance to finally scratch Catch 22 by Joseph Heller off my Stuff to Read(tm) List.

I wish I hadn't, because now that I have I keep grinding my teeth everyone uses "catch 22" when they're talking about a paradox. A chicken-or-egg situation. In order to get venture capital to finance development of your software, you need to have developed your software. That kind of thing.

But the real definition of a catch 22 is revealed at the end of the book: those who are stronger than you can do anything to you that you are unable to stop them from doing. The problem isn't that the rules don't make sense... it's that you have to obey any rules in the first place. Or, to put it even more concisely: might makes right.

Heller's solution to the problem? Fscking flee. Get out from underneath the power behind the rules and remove the constraint altogether.

It's a good book, I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't.

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