Since I just re-discovered the more than brillian xyproblem.info, I’m posting it here for my future self. Reading through the small page always brings me lots of joy.
This is a serious, real thing. I’ve wasted countless hours of my life dealing with the XY problem. And be aware: this is NOT only a thing of the engineering world, this is everywhere. I’m almost completely sure that this is one of those things that upon reading about it, seeing the phenomenon in a few paragraphs of text, you’ll start to notice it every once in a while.
For your pleasure, please check out xyproblem.info.