In layman's terms it pretty much means "Damned if you do and damned if you don't" either way you're gonna get screwed.
Season 3, Episode 17: Catch-22
In the ABC TV show "Lost"by J.J. Abrams
Desmond can see the future and his latest vision suggests that his girlfriend Penny will crash-land onto the island. The vision also suggests that Charlie will die if he comes along with Desmond to rescue her, but Charlie must come along to make the vision come true.
(Season Three: Original Air Date: 18 April 2007)
A situtation where you have two possible choices, either of which while have negative ramifications for you.
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's 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. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.
"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.
The word Catch-22 was coined from the Joeseph Heller novel "Catch-22", a humorous satire about WWII pilots. Catch-22 is used when pilots try to get out of bombing duty. It is military law that anyone insane is allowed to be ejected from the army on honorary-leave. However, if the pilot asks to be ejected because he is insane, that shows personal concern for his own safety, and thusly he must not be insane, and connot leave. This ensured that all pilots could not get out of the military on charges of insanity. There are no other catches, just Catch-22.
Today, Cath-22 generally refers to:
1. A situation which will deal negative results no matter what choice is made.
2. The WWII book which deals with this catch and carries the same title.
3. The rock band
1. "If I leave, my parents are going to kill me, but if I don't, my girlfriend will dump me. This is a real Catch-22."
2. You should read Catch-22 by Joeseph Heller. It's very funny.
3. I just saw Catch-22 live last night!
Catch-22 is a famous anti-war novel written by Joseph Heller. In the book, a catch-22 refers to the law that allows soldiers to raid an Italian whorehouse. The very same law that gives them the right to make this intrusion also entitles them to conceal why they are raiding it in a first place, so the proprieter can never find out why it happened. This is compared to an earlier reference in the book, where a military policy requires that soldiers can only be discharged for insanity if they are both insane and ask for discharge. However, asking for discharge if you are insane is a sane act, so you cannot be insane. Therefore, getting a discharge for insanity is actually impossible.
A catch-22 is commonly misperceived to be a situation wherein both options are seen to have negative consequences. That situation is actually called a double-edged sword. A catch-22, as in the examples above, is a situation wherein the solution to a problem is impossible given the very nature of the problem.
My university has asked me to transfer because they expel anyone with a GPA under a 2.0, yet I cannot transfer because no other college will take an applicant with less than a 2.0! This policy is such a catch-22!
catch-22 has 3 definitions
1. A situation where both choices would have negative impacts on oneself.
2.An excellent and witty book about WWII
3.A extremely awesome ska band.
one:Dude, what a catch-22 we're in!
two:did you read that excellent book, Catch-22 yet?
Three: Sweet man! I'm going to the Catch-22 concert this april!
The only way to be dismissed from the military is to be crazy and to ask to be dismissed. Catch-22 states that if you ask to be dismissed from the military, you are not crazy. Catch-22 meant so much more than that, it was the excuse used for every insane order that the officers would give to the troops, was used for every justification. The best definition of Catch-22 is what the old women told Yossarian when he returned to Italy to search for Nately's whore. She told him MPs had come into the whorehouse and arrested everyone, and as justification they had used Catch-22. She then said "Catch-22 means they are allowed to do anything that you can't stop them from doing." There are not 21 other catches, Catch-22 is the only catch that is ever needed.
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... 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.
A catch-22 is not a situation in which both choices lead to undesirable outcomes. That is called a lose-lose or no-win situation. A catch-22 situation CAN be a lose-lose, but it could also be a win-win or win-lose.
A catch-22 situation is one in which the solution is impossible given the cyclic nature of the premises.
The logic is as follows:
1. If X, then Y and Z
2. If Y, then not Z
3. Not Y or not Z
4. Not Y and Z
5. Therefore, not X.
Many people use this logical terminology as commonplace vernacular while using it incorrectly and not understanding the origin.
1. If a person is excused from flying, that must be because he is both insane and requests an evaluation.
2. If a person is insane (I), he should not realize that he is, and would have no reason to request an evaluation.
3. Since an insane person would not request an evaluation, it follows that all people must either not be insane, or not request an evaluation.
4. Since all people must either not be insane, or not request an evaluation, it follows that no person is both insane and requests an evaluation.
5. Since a person may be excused from flying only if he is both insane and requests an evaluation, but no person can be both insane and request an evaluation, it (therefore) follows that no person can be excused from flying.
This is the logical argument and substituted form of a Catch-22.