On shortwave the BBC recently presented a week-long series about how computers and robots at this moment in history will start taking paying jobs from humans at a rate faster than society may be able to cope. Until now the consensus has been that technology may indeed make certain jobs obsolete, but at the same time it opens up whole new fields needing more workers than those who lost their jobs. From now on, it looks like that will no longer be the case. Computers and robots will just be too good.

It's not all bad news for humans. In fact, if people stay alert, flexible and keep up their spirits, the coming extinction of paying jobs can be nothing less than liberating for individuals, and healthy for society in general.

For, never before in the history of humankind has so much work desperately needed to be done as now. Think of all the effort needed to redirect overall planetary human behavior away from its current biosphere-destroying practices, to biosphere-restoring and maintaining ones. Think of all the mental exertion, investment in time, and love needed to save our young people from their current downward spiral. Well, you know the state of things better than I. The point being made is that for most of this critical work needing to be done, because of collapsing governments and economic realities, in the near future there may be no one offering humans paying jobs to do the work.

I can think of two courses of action that individuals can take as the "jobless" world approaches, and these two ideas can be implemented at the same time.

First, we can choose to live enriched, healthy, sustainable and inexpensive lives based on "voluntary simplicity," as discussed in last week's Newsletter, that essay being online at http://www.backyardnature.net/n/p/170514.htm

Second, we can step outside our societies based on people having jobs and spending money to keep things going.

For example, there's the possibility of forming or joining an intentional community consisting of people wanting to simplify, be self-sufficient, and not be bothered by the rest of the world. An Internet search on the key words "intentional communities" brings up information on many such communities; several websites provide descriptions and contact information for hundreds.

Otherwise, there's always the potential for organizing neighbors, friends or family along these lines, or you can do as I do, just simplify and keep simplifying, and on a day by day basis do what you think is right, no matter what others around you do, say or think.

In fact, throughout most of human history, doing work you're passionate about, or at least able to see the need for -- even when no one was paying to get the job done -- has fulfilled people and made them happy, enabled communities to thrive, and has been very largely what dignified us as humans.

And one fine fact about this approach to life is that -- especially compared to how things are now -- it's Nature friendly, and sustainable. That's because, to be self sufficient, at some point you have to cooperate with Nature to get your food. And once you're into Nature, you change in life-affirming ways.