Following irrational sparks of joy

David Rees was a successful cartoonist that just could not any more so he decided to become a census-taker in the US.

Lesson one, as he explains it, was this: How to sharpen a pencil. They all stood in circles around wastebaskets, executing on instructions just delivered.

And he felt happy. Inside him, he found a spark of joy he did not experience for a very long time.

This happens to me: I find something that sparks irrational joy. Then, I look at it rationally and squash it.

This is not what happened to David Rees. He followed that spark to an astonishing conclusion: He launched an artisanal pencil-sharpening service. And wrote a 200-page treatise on how to sharpen pencils.

And one has to assume, that this brought him great joy.

Rational, or not.

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