It is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.

Walt Whitman (with thanks to the Accidental Hermit).

For someone trying to live simply I sure seem to end up doing a lot of complicated things.

I started learning to be a carpenter so that I could earn a living without getting too mixed up in our hypercomplex, technology orientated society. It turns out that carpentry in Germany is as dominated by technology and machines as everything else.

I’m now working to finish the course and get the piece of paper. Then I can specialise (do what I want to do) afterwards.

Meanwhile I keep making pencil sketches of my ideas and trying to cut dovetails and mortise and tenon joins when I have time to spare. This causes much incredulity amongst people around me: there are machines for that today. Only wierdo tree-hugging hippies make their own.

On the other hand when the inevitable collapse of civilisation comes, I’ll still be able to put up shelves.

A big part of the course is learning to use machines and the computer software for operating them. This means attending tutorials at college and a couple of hours downloading and installing the software package so I can do coursework. Later I can upload the designs onto the college server, and all I have to do is write a computer programme and the big machine at college will make it for me. Simple, and obviously much better economic sense than messing about with a saw and a couple of chisels.

Then the software company brought out a new version of the software, rendering the existing version obsolete overnight. No problem: they also issued us with new codes to plug back into the matrix, so we could spend a couple more hours downloading and installing and get on with programming.

Except that the codes didn’t work.

The capitalist-industrial machine swung into action once more and the company sent a corrected set of codes after a mere three weeks, just in time for Christmas.

These didn’t work either.

If you need me, I’ll be sawing dovetails while awaiting the inevitable collapse of civilisation.