Discussion:
Catch 22
(too old to reply)
Lothar Frings
2018-10-10 16:25:03 UTC
Permalink
I'm a little confused.

For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".

Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-10-10 16:32:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
Catch 22 comes from Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Failure
to have read this brilliant novel is a sign of a totally
inadequate and incomplete education. That paradox is
that the only way to be taken out of the war is to be
declared mad but only a sane person would want to be
removed from the war so anybody seeking to be removed
from the war on the grounds of insanity is by definition
sane and cannot therefore be removed.
Lothar Frings
2018-10-10 16:38:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
Catch 22 comes from Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Failure
to have read this brilliant novel is a sign of a totally
inadequate and incomplete education.
"totally inadequate and incomplete" -
hey, I learned a new synonym for "German".
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
That paradox is
that the only way to be taken out of the war is to be
declared mad but only a sane person would want to be
removed from the war so anybody seeking to be removed
from the war on the grounds of insanity is by definition
sane and cannot therefore be removed.
So, what would be the correct term for
a clever and most of the time unexpected
solution for a problem?
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-10-10 17:36:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lothar Frings
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
Catch 22 comes from Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Failure
to have read this brilliant novel is a sign of a totally
inadequate and incomplete education.
"totally inadequate and incomplete" -
hey, I learned a new synonym for "German".
I was going to say something along those lines. I think it's perfectly
OK for a German not to have read Catch 22. I'm sure that there are
brilliant novels in German that I haven't read or even heard of. On the
other hand if 'Arrison said he hadn't read Catch 22 I wouldn't be
surprised and would think it confirmed Maddie's opinion.
Post by Lothar Frings
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
That paradox is
that the only way to be taken out of the war is to be
declared mad but only a sane person would want to be
removed from the war so anybody seeking to be removed
from the war on the grounds of insanity is by definition
sane and cannot therefore be removed.
So, what would be the correct term for
a clever and most of the time unexpected
solution for a problem?
Serendipitous?
--
athel
Tak To
2018-10-10 19:16:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lothar Frings
[...]
So, what would be the correct term for
a clever and most of the time unexpected
solution for a problem?
Serendipitous?
"Serendipitous" implies that the solution is unexpected
by the inventor or (early) discoverer(s). If it is a common
implementation but one is surprised that it works at all,
then it is not serendipitous. In the latter case the
solution can be called a clever kludge in some circles.
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
b***@aol.com
2018-10-10 19:56:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lothar Frings
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
Catch 22 comes from Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Failure
to have read this brilliant novel is a sign of a totally
inadequate and incomplete education.
"totally inadequate and incomplete" -
hey, I learned a new synonym for "German".
I was going to say something along those lines. I think it's perfectly
OK for a German not to have read Catch 22. I'm sure that there are
brilliant novels in German that I haven't read or even heard of. On the
other hand if 'Arrison said he hadn't read Catch 22 I wouldn't be
surprised and would think it confirmed Maddie's opinion.
Post by Lothar Frings
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
That paradox is
that the only way to be taken out of the war is to be
declared mad but only a sane person would want to be
removed from the war so anybody seeking to be removed
from the war on the grounds of insanity is by definition
sane and cannot therefore be removed.
So, what would be the correct term for
a clever and most of the time unexpected
solution for a problem?
Serendipitous?
IMO, what makes a discovery serendipitous is its accidental, lucky nature,
i.e. a solution to a problem B is found researching a problem A.
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
--
athel
Horace LaBadie
2018-10-10 19:03:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lothar Frings
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
Catch 22 comes from Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Failure
to have read this brilliant novel is a sign of a totally
inadequate and incomplete education.
"totally inadequate and incomplete" -
hey, I learned a new synonym for "German".
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
That paradox is
that the only way to be taken out of the war is to be
declared mad but only a sane person would want to be
removed from the war so anybody seeking to be removed
from the war on the grounds of insanity is by definition
sane and cannot therefore be removed.
So, what would be the correct term for
a clever and most of the time unexpected
solution for a problem?
Horace Walpole called it serendip.
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-10 21:29:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lothar Frings
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
Catch 22 comes from Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Failure
to have read this brilliant novel is a sign of a totally
inadequate and incomplete education.
"totally inadequate and incomplete" -
hey, I learned a new synonym for "German".
Good answer.
Post by Lothar Frings
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
That paradox is
that the only way to be taken out of the war is to be
declared mad but only a sane person would want to be
removed from the war so anybody seeking to be removed
from the war on the grounds of insanity is by definition
sane and cannot therefore be removed.
So, what would be the correct term for
a clever and most of the time unexpected
solution for a problem?
I don't know anything special beyond "a clever [ingenious, etc.]
solution". Sometimes you could say "a clever trick" or the like.
--
Jerry Friedman
Horace LaBadie
2018-10-10 16:43:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
Believe the novel.

"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a
concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and
immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be
grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no
longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy
to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had
to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he
didn't want to, he was sane and had to."
Peter T. Daniels
2018-10-10 16:52:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
The expression was indeed invented by Joseph Heller -- and his editors;
they spent some time discussing what to call it -- and is the title of
the novel in which it was introduced. The novel was hugely popular and
is one of the great comic treasures of American literature, as well as
stressing the absurdity of war in general.

The original Catch-22 is that a soldier pretended to be insane so that
he would be discharged from the army, but his desire to be discharged
proved that he was sane.
J. J. Lodder
2018-10-10 18:29:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
The expression was indeed invented by Joseph Heller -- and his editors;
they spent some time discussing what to call it -- and is the title of
the novel in which it was introduced.
It was Catch 18 in first version,
but Leon Uris's Mila 18 appeared in the meantime,
preempting the '18',
so the published version became Catch 22,

Jan
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-10-10 18:35:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
The expression was indeed invented by Joseph Heller -- and his editors;
they spent some time discussing what to call it -- and is the title of
the novel in which it was introduced.
It was Catch 18 in first version,
but Leon Uris's Mila 18 appeared in the meantime,
preempting the '18',
so the published version became Catch 22,
Be that as it may, Catch 22 is a better name.
--
athel
Peter T. Daniels
2018-10-10 18:38:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
The expression was indeed invented by Joseph Heller -- and his editors;
they spent some time discussing what to call it -- and is the title of
the novel in which it was introduced.
It was Catch 18 in first version,
but Leon Uris's Mila 18 appeared in the meantime,
preempting the '18',
so the published version became Catch 22,
Be that as it may, Catch 22 is a better name.
And was that preemption in turn why why Douglas Adams settled on 42?
J. J. Lodder
2018-10-10 18:46:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
The expression was indeed invented by Joseph Heller -- and his editors;
they spent some time discussing what to call it -- and is the title of
the novel in which it was introduced.
It was Catch 18 in first version,
but Leon Uris's Mila 18 appeared in the meantime,
preempting the '18',
so the published version became Catch 22,
Be that as it may, Catch 22 is a better name.
And was that preemption in turn why why Douglas Adams settled on 42?
What else could six by nine. be?

Jan
occam
2018-10-10 19:08:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
The expression was indeed invented by Joseph Heller -- and his editors;
they spent some time discussing what to call it -- and is the title of
the novel in which it was introduced.
It was Catch 18 in first version,
but Leon Uris's Mila 18 appeared in the meantime,
preempting the '18',
so the published version became Catch 22,
Be that as it may, Catch 22 is a better name.
And was that preemption in turn why why Douglas Adams settled on 42?
What else could six by nine. be?
Are you stuck on base 13 again, Lodder?
J. J. Lodder
2018-10-10 20:57:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
The expression was indeed invented by Joseph Heller -- and his editors;
they spent some time discussing what to call it -- and is the title of
the novel in which it was introduced.
It was Catch 18 in first version,
but Leon Uris's Mila 18 appeared in the meantime,
preempting the '18',
so the published version became Catch 22,
Be that as it may, Catch 22 is a better name.
And was that preemption in turn why why Douglas Adams settled on 42?
What else could six by nine. be?
Are you stuck on base 13 again, Lodder?
"I don't make jokes in base 13"

Jan
Sam Plusnet
2018-10-10 20:54:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
The expression was indeed invented by Joseph Heller -- and his editors;
they spent some time discussing what to call it -- and is the title of
the novel in which it was introduced.
It was Catch 18 in first version,
but Leon Uris's Mila 18 appeared in the meantime,
preempting the '18',
so the published version became Catch 22,
Be that as it may, Catch 22 is a better name.
It makes for a catchy title.
--
Sam Plusnet
Tak To
2018-10-10 19:23:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
The expression was indeed invented by Joseph Heller -- and his editors;
they spent some time discussing what to call it -- and is the title of
the novel in which it was introduced. The novel was hugely popular and
is one of the great comic treasures of American literature, as well as
stressing the absurdity of war in general.
And a big turn-off for anyone who does not think war in
general (or the Vietnam War in particular) is (was) absurd.
Post by Peter T. Daniels
The original Catch-22 is that a soldier pretended to be insane so that
he would be discharged from the army, but his desire to be discharged
proved that he was sane.
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
Peter T. Daniels
2018-10-10 20:57:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tak To
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
The expression was indeed invented by Joseph Heller -- and his editors;
they spent some time discussing what to call it -- and is the title of
the novel in which it was introduced. The novel was hugely popular and
is one of the great comic treasures of American literature, as well as
stressing the absurdity of war in general.
And a big turn-off for anyone who does not think war in
general (or the Vietnam War in particular) is (was) absurd.
? It was published years before there was a US war in Vietnam.
The so-so movie -- only the fourth one by Mike Nichols -- was indeed
a response to the Vietnam War, but that's not Heller's fault.
Post by Tak To
Post by Peter T. Daniels
The original Catch-22 is that a soldier pretended to be insane so that
he would be discharged from the army, but his desire to be discharged
proved that he was sane.
Horace LaBadie
2018-10-10 21:41:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lothar Frings
I'm a little confused.
For decades I thought the English
version of the German "Trick 17"
(a clever and most of the time
unexpected solution for a problem)
was "catch 22". But on one website
I read that it comes from the novel
of the same name and means "a paradox
in which the attempt to escape makes
escape impossible".
Presumably spurred by this:
<https://www.gocomics.com/barneyandclyde/2018/10/01>
Post by Lothar Frings
Now - what is one to believe?
What does it really mean?
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