I retired from teaching about a year ago, and haven't really done very much since. Just coped with getting an assessment for the thing that I'd already self-identified, and then looked for ways to get over the chronic anxiety and depression. What used to be anxiety about work has now morphed into anxiety about trying to exist in this distant and somewhat alien land until my UK pension kicks in. There is no doubt about it that I want to work again, and likely until I eventually drop. Sure I could bite the bullet and go back to teaching, but I think that would probably lead to premature death, through boredom and loneliness. It just does not appeal. Now I seem to be on the point of picking up some work on academic materials that I can do at home, but I also rather like the idea of returning to some of the practical skills I once earned a living by. I'm a bit of an experimenter really. Although I have no claim to inventive genius, and my scientific knowledge is a bit patchy.
Today, I started thinking again about an idea I have had several times over the last few years. The idea is to again pursue my experimental and DIY side, as a means to be doing things that make me happy. (I've always tried to fix things up, or even make my own stuff, even though you might have described me as a rather dyspraxic tradesman in the past.) Now, I'm not expecting to make much money out of that, but it occurs to me that it eventually lead me along some new paths that could even provide a little pocket money. In effect, I think you might say that I would be operating a sort of idea lab, although that is perhaps a rather pretentious way of looking at it given my clumsiness and patchy education.
It occurs to me that it would be good to have a section in this forum where people can inspire and motivate each other with their occupational ideas and actions. I'm most certainly not asking people to give away the secrets of their greatest occupational advantages, but just saying that if you were to describe some of the things that have worked for you, there might well be considerable space for cooperation. And even those things that didn't quite work out, because some others of us might just figure that there are ways to make these things work. And of course, we could also draw on our careers, hobbies and pastimes to help each other out. I have the Sibermanian notion that we might well be better off figuring out our own lives and occupations. and having read quite a lot here, it seems to me that there are loads of interesting ideas knocking around.
My big problem is I've done too many different jobs, and have never really been particularly outstanding at any of them, but I do rather like the idea of trying to pursue new skills - especially if I'm allowed to learn by making mistakes in my inimitable fashion.
So just to sort of state the real point of this new post, perhaps NAS might consider dedicating a special section of this forum to discussion of occupational ideas, opportunities and cooperative fixes etc. etc. I suppose if we were to get quite a discussion going here, the mods might figure it is an idea worth pursuing. And to be honest, I rather like the idea of moderating such a section of a forum myself. Forum moderation/operation is something I have done in the past.
And if it leads to more acquaintances and friends, it won't be entirely in vain. I also believe that this might be better than any therapy for anxiety - and I say that because I reckon I can't afford the attentions of a psychotherapist (life has not been too lucrative), and no one is available to do that sort of work hereabouts anyway.
Happy Christmas & New Year! I have to be honest, I have lived about a quarter of a century in a country that makes a bit of a fuss about Christmas in the shopping and party sense, but I sort of think it has no real relevance to me here. And so I just occupy my time at this time of the year trying to think of ways to make the New Year more fulfilling - hence this thread!
But have a good one anyway! :-) I'm hoping to get some interesting discussion going here, at least!
1. I'm annoyed about the fact wireless computermice have fancy colors, but the thing that goes in the usb-port is basically for all the same.
With 4 laptops in the house (3 job related), that means very often I look for the right thingy that goes with the right mouse... If they would make the thingy in the same fancy color they use to make the mouse, I would have this issue a lot less often. Once I had to leave urgently for work and had to still start the pc because I wasn't sure which thingy went with the mouse I carried...
2. We got a Kitchenaid fancy ++ kettle. It has a gauge to show the temperature of the water, but not to show the level of the water. The temperature of the water is not of real interest. I won't go 'oh, wow, this water is still 60 degrees celcius, I'll use it ...'
The kettle has a window with level indicators in the handle... This indicator is lit when the kettle heats up, but not when you pour the water in.
Every time I put the water in, I wish the gauge would indicate the level of the water and not the temperature...
I saw on youtube a guy who managed to get the beeping-function disabled... I can live with that part... I'm happy for him though!
I guess some people suffer from dementia, and it helps them remember the kettle had done it's work, and the water can be used...
3. Our car has a key that you don't need to put in the contact... that's dandy ... fancy ++ all right. So you get in the car, drop the key somewhere in a compartment between chewing gum boxes... and when you get out, you forget it... but you still need it to lock the car...
Every time I drive that car, I wish they had a little holder that would keep the key, that could then function also as the on/off button.
4. we bought an electric heater. It has two identical buttons. One switches it on, the other sets it to 1000w/2400w...
I often switch it off while I want to put it to the other setting. In the dark, the writing is not very clear. I also know that the thing has 4 positions where it only needs 3 (0w/1000w/2400w).
And even if it has 2 buttons, I would like an on off that you can clearly distinguish from the other one...
5. Our car has an ecological setting with a builtin program that judges your acceleration, anticipation and gear changing abilities.
It gives you stars for this... I get easily 5 stars on the first two, but the gear changing is a bit of a challenge... It tells you even when to change the gears, but even then, it's not possible for me to get it to 4 stars out of five... I know an automatic gearbox would be something right for me. I don't like a car that tells me I'm an autist. I would like the program to be self-adaptive and learn that this is really the best I can do. the ego/eco setting... If I would have a Euro for every time my wife tells me that the car actually has 6 gears, I would have at least 15 Euro now...
Well, I have got into some Unix and web creation in the past, and may do some more soon. And Python is interesting. But I'm probably a bit more interested in the IOT and perhaps stuff like Raspberry Pi. But I have an email-only contact in this country (never actually met) who wishes to go no further than self-identification, and she has thrown herself into the deep end of coding as a form of self therapy and as a means to future income.
But this is not all about me. My instinct with your post would be to place it in a new thread of its own, for others to join in with. As I said, moderation of a special subforum would probably suit me, but NAS would have to OK that. And it's possible that they prefer to use employees rather than volunteer moderators.
Another reason for having some space to explore this issue could perhaps be to act as a means for potential employers to find people with a very keen interest in a very specific field. There is a need to organise such spaces for ourselves, rather than just responding to outside overtures.
I also see opportunities in re-engineering stuff to more specific local needs. My way of approaching such tasks is to do it first for my own benefit alone, and then consider how it can be modified to be useful for others.
Probably the wrong time to post this. Also, the nature of this forum is that topics don't last very long in most cases, since each day brings up old issues posted afresh by new members. And of course, those posters rightly need a lot of our attention.
Nevertheless, in this age of increasing automation and robotisation, this whole issue of finding fulfilling and gainful occupation is one that will be of vital importance to almost all of us in future, regardless of neurodiversity, neurotypicality and age.
Most of what I mentioned boils down to careless engineering. Designers that 'saw the whole picture'... it works, it's cheap, people will buy it. Make thousands of it...
I see two things of great promise there, what DongFeng mentioned, the raspberry pi, with already millions of applications, and 3D printers where you can experiment with your own designs. I'm sure they already have in that field some 'design patterns', like 'a switch', 'a button', that you can modify to your own needs before printing it (give it that colour, make it 3 way in stead of just on/off)
I think that spectre is already our reality. 3 % of people are farmers in the industrialized world. Which percentage of people are actually strictly needed to keep the rest fed, clothed, warm and dry? The rest of us works in fields that are not really necessary. Banking, entertainment, marketing, holiday accomodation, government. We keep ourselves busy. We keep ourselves entertained.
Having worked in UK agriculture in the distant past, I suspect your 3% estimate is a bit too high. But point most certainly taken. However, I would argue that many of us aren't going to be in a position to just be entertained through work in future. Indeed, I see little evidence that the majority are really enjoying their current hamsterwheel existence. The current spate of bank cuts is eventually going to lead to further unemployment, for instance. Now many of those unemployed will be early retirees who will entertain themselves by retiring and volunteering for useful work. I would argue that sooner or later the money will run out for younger redundant people and work will become a means to survive by growing your own food etc. How people will manage, god knows, because land has become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The one certainty is that the rich will increasingly disengage from the rest of society. Little cause for optimism. Our politicians will be in no hurry to discuss stuff such as universal basic income.
Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B?