I'm horrendous at being able to accomplish big projects on my own, with no funding.
Pretty much everyone has that problem. If you need some entry level physics or EE or some more advanced materials science stuff maybe I'll contribute one day. Free education is possible, just like you say. At the same time I'd be sad to see the brick and mortar schools go. You can't replace being physically in the same buildings with the same labs for a lot of stuff.
It's similar to what has happened with Gamecube games.
What a strange car analogy
In 1914, the first crossword puzzle was printed in a newspaper. The creator received $4000 down ... and $3000 across.