I ended up over at Caterina's blog while researching previous post entries belief set and came across this quote.
Evolutionary psychologist Nigel Barber cites a study where kids were given pens to play with. Surprisingly, those who were rewarded for doing so were less inclined to continue. "The underlying explanation for psychologists is that when you pay somebody to do something ... they get the feeling that they're not doing it because they enjoy it," Barber said.
I guess that explains why I enjoy working on the things that don't pay me more than the things that do pay me. Well, actually that ebbs and flows. But damn this american socialization. Some day, this american ideal will go away.