$1.3 million doesn't sound like a lot of money but it would mean a thousand bucks a week until I'm 75 years old. Somebody better at math and competent with investments could probably figure out a more accurate, lower amount that would do the same thing. It's comfortably middle-class, but I don't really dream of being rich, I dream of being free from work to pursue my passions. If I could pull that off what would I do with my time? It's kind of like retirement, but I want to do it now while I'm still able to do something useful with it. I don't think I ever want to retire.
|Mechanical Sympathy would expand and become an|
income stream of its own. It would be the centre of
an online media onslaught!
Here's what I'd aim at if I weren't busy pulling the plough:
MEDIA MAKERWriter: I'd exercise the English degree and write, but not in a specific genre. I'd pursue motorcycle and travel writing more aggressively. I'd be happiest freelancing and working once or twice a month on assignment with the occasional larger travel project which would lead to a book. Lois Pryce is a role model. While that wasn't happening I'd be writing fictional novels. It would be nice to work for established publications, but developing my own brand online would allow for more control over what I'm creating. I've been working in large bureaucracies for too long.
|If it's new and technically challenging I'm into it. |
Having access to that kind of kit is exciting.
I like to be surprised by what new tech can do.
Digital Media: Exploring digital media has long been an interest (I teach it now). Having access to the latest tech, not to consume but to experiment and explore, would be fantastic. Projects would include VR environment building in CAD and simulation, as well as immersive media creation. I'm working on a VR research project in school at the moment. I feel like major breakthroughs are currently happening there. What we have in ten years will make our screen use today look archaic.
|I got into 3d scanning last year. The resolution isn't|
spectacular, but it's amazing what you can do with
a simple 3d scanner on an ipad.
Digital Engineering: I'm especially interested in micro-manufacturing using digital tools. Multi-axis milling machines using CAD models offer new avenues into high-tech customization. 3d printers are making advances every day. Being able to print my own fairing designs would be brilliant. Being able to print my own designs with dragon scales would be even better.
An opportunity to borrow new technology and see what it is capable of would also be grist for writing and media creation. If in the process I happened to get very good at producing customized parts, I'd lease the gear and get to it. As prices fall on what was once expensive industrial grade equipment and digital management makes high tolerance production available to everyone, a new post-industrial age of customization will emerge.
Kawasaki's H2 supercharger impeller is a thing of beauty.
The technology that built it is becoming more accessible every day.
With table top laser cutters and various other digital tools becoming commonplace, the chance to explore these technologies without safety nannies hand wringing from above would be delightful. The home garage of the future is going to be a magical place of customized, personal manufacturing. It would be a blast to have the time and means to explore it.
I really do enjoy teaching, but the vampiric bureaucracies that manage it make working in education feel like giving blood; you're doing a good thing but you always come out feeling drained. I'd happily take in apprentices on my own terms and genuinely enjoy helping them discover and develop their talents, I just wouldn't want to do it in an institution of learning.
One of the things I want to do in my forties is stop others from diluting my focus and wasting my time with their own mediocre expectations.