His Life Aquatic


I kept waiting for an explanation as to why Houtman was described as “seemingly rational”. Isn’t there always an assumption that the reason people work hard and accumulate wealth, sometimes in fields that they’re not really passionate about, is so they can hopefully someday have the leisure to pursue their genuine interests?

If accounting software wasn’t his true passion then continuing to work in it when he had enough money to walk away would have been truly irrational.


Yeah, I’m going the charitable route here and assume that Elisabeth’s first writing language was not English. Not only is there nothing “seemingly” irrational about wanting a submarine, having one of any size has not been “fantasy” for decades.

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A submersible can spend much longer at depth than a scuba diver. There’s nothing irrational about it, aside from the financial cost.


I love you guys. The irrational part is that he knows this might just be pouring money into a personal dream but pretends it might become a profitable enterprise, which he admits. It’s not irrational to want a sub or build one or form a company. It’s irrational to pour money into a hole in the water while pretending that it might all float back up. (And it might! But he acknowledges the conflict between his dream and his more sensible self.)

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