- Travel the world, learn lots of languages and live overseas for a while (but not forever).
- Be a rabble-rouser of some sort, i.e. community organizer, etc.
- Write science-fiction novels.
- Stay at home and raise the kids.
- Be a really good high school math or science teacher, who makes students love (or at least not hate) math and science.
- Work as a bread baker.
Here's another list of jobs that aren't quite what I'm looking for, but seem like they would also be fairly cool.
- Nicholas Kristof's job: I imagine that this is what many an aspiring journalist daydreams about doing: traveling the globe, talking to interesting people about human rights, exposing corruption and abuse, rousing rabble, raking muck, etc. These days, this is dominated by independent and/or foreign journalists since most corporate American media outlets don't put very much money money into investigative or international reporting any more. Among mainstream American journalism, Kristof seems to be the only big name who does this, but he does it well enough to score a Pulitzer. (By the way, how much does TimesSelect suck? I mean, I shoveled out the money for it, but still... thumbs down)
- Google: Granted, they're probably the next incarnation of Big Brother (unless they really do stick to the "don't be evil" rule). But they do give their software engineers some large percentage of their time free to dream up cool stuff, like this, and this, and this, and this ...
- Movie Reviewer: It still amazes me that some people get paid to do this.