Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Working Stiff

Next week I'll be starting my first job since September. It's a contract technical writing position with a large non-profit hospital chain, doing something very similar to what I've done before, which should last several months at a pay rate closer to what I'm worth than I've been able to get in a long while. In short, I got very lucky.

Ironically, I feel very close to a major breakthrough in my research. I recently posted a graph on my Web site that illustrates the “prime happiness” relationship I discovered back in February, which still tantalizes me with its simplicity and the potential for being more than a strange coincidence. It's certainly worth following up. In addition, I've come to suspect that my work with relative environments will lead to significant new insights about human perception and behavior that can ultimately be used to help steer us away from impending oblivion.

No matter how my work situation unfolds, I plan to continue my investigations, though probably at a slower rate until I can find a way to devote more time to it and meet my financial obligations. That way remains difficult to nail down, even as I'm collecting more evidence about the types of careers I'm suited for and not suited for. Technical writing remains the most economically viable thing I can do, even though for the most part it services a part of the economy – information technology – that is fundamentally unsustainable. An academic career is still on the table, though my reservations remain intact. Creative writing and investigation, unless I make a big splash with a large fan base, are unlikely to yield more than trivial spending money.

Of course, it doesn't help that I hate money, specifically the harm generally required for its accumulation. If I could live and work for free, I would. What I consider the most valuable fruits of my labor, understanding that could lead to everyone living better lives, I am giving away, on my blogs and Web site. In return, I'm deriving some pleasure in the knowledge that it might be doing some good, and that it can't be bought and sold, and therefore hoarded, by a bunch of greedy bastards who would gladly sell humanity down the toilet for more personal power. I'm not above charging for some of my labor, of course, but mainly for derivative works (my art), luxury items (advertised in pop-up ads accompanying a few of my pages), and already economically-valuable services (like my technical writing).

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