This week my contract ended and I'm available for work. I've done technical writing about as long as test engineering (14-15 years). Add 12 years of part-time or full-time educational research. Throw in “free time” of writing, research, and other art of my own, and it’s a start.
I try to learn as much as I can so - given enough time - quality matches or exceeds quantity of what I produce. Positive experience is most likely if the definition of quality is the same for producers and consumers, so finding what it is for each is part of that learning.
Understanding the time and resources needed to achieve mutually acceptable quality is part of learning that can ensure fair trade of products and services that embody them. That trade is also part of the experience, beyond use of what’s traded.
Effects of producing and trading on others (not just people) should also be understood, since they have value that may not be included in definitions of quality for what is traded. Neglecting this third “dimension” of learning is fraught with danger for all concerned.
What I’ve learned and ways to better learn are what I’ve carried with me from job to job, while money has evaporated and sometimes the projects have too. For me they’re embodied in the process of living, which I’m doing wherever I am, increasing them however possible.
A “job” in the wild is how one contributes to the life support system that everyone is an integral part of. The key feature, life, is increasingly optional in the substitute systems we humans create and inhabit, where quality can be defined with or without it.
In my “free time” research, I’ve learned that life support isn’t just getting what we need to live, it’s supporting the life that provides it by not consuming too much of it and the life it depends on. Whatever we do must include that as a priority, or risk mass death.
Getting to the point where I understand all of this ideally should have been a “start” to my career instead of coming so close to its end. My skills and hopes are based on the trajectory I followed, which diverges radically from the path I and the world must follow next.