Publicado el 27/11/2020.

Image by Ana Carolina Franco on Pixabay.

Translated by Wild Way.

Today I’m going to write about something positive, I’m going to talk about the future in a positive way, I’m going to predict the future of leisure in a de-growth world, that is, my proposals for activities in a world without computers, mobile phones, Internet, consoles, etc.

Why? Well, firstly because I want to talk about the de-growth future, to design the future so that after reading all my articles you see that there’s hope. I'm not a big fan of hope because it can blind you, but it can create a much simpler alternative society without giving up on being happy, or having fun.

As always, we’ll take a look at the past, analyze what people used to do, and see what to retain from the not-so-distant past regarding free time in the winter and leisure in the summer, but let me also say that we’ll ditch a lot of crap that is best left in the past.


Entertainment in the not-so-distant past is what has always gone on in farming villages.

Card games, the Spanish deck of cards is the amigo of the people in villages and larger towns with free time on their hands. When we see older people playing in the bars, although now they do it in the old folk’s homes, with their professional card table covers worn out by so many decks of cards... it’s just the way to spend the changing seasons, especially the cold winters where the village bar was the meeting point, and where everyone spent the hours waiting for spring to come, drinking wine and playing cards. This has been one of the great pastimes of Spain, and thanks to cards and the variety of games possible, it has turned the afternoons and nights into a time for meet-ups and fraternity for decades, if not centuries.

I have had a lot of contact with this type of games as a child, I suppose because I spent many years in a village in Burgos and with the grandparents in those villages, including my grandmother, who spent a lot of time playing cards: julepe, cinquillo, solitaire... and with more modern games on offer, invented by millennials, such as liar or even UNO, which I suspect is a copy of Spanish children's card games.

Petanca, a very common game in Spain and France for good weather days, still played by older people.

Needlework, needlework is a universe apart, there are so many types and forms that each take years to master: macramé, cross-stitch, crochet, lace-making... they are crafts that our mothers and grandmothers mastered, used first of all to produce doilies while on the other hand commiserating with other women as their husbands hit the bar. It need not be only for women in the future, but rather a craft for all.

Cuisine, food preparation beyond what’s necessary to survive is quite an art in countries like Spain, Italy and Japan, which serves to entertain many people and allow them to enjoy life. Also, eating a variety of foods and using recipes from across the world isn’t particularly complicated, with the exception of certain exotic ingredients. It’s more the ingenuity and ability of the cooks, which in the current century has opened the door to a whole universe of world-wide gastronomy. Cuisine is so varied that it can also include canning, salting, oil-making, and alcoholic beverages… really a whole world unto itself.

Handicrafts, cut-outs, model building, home improvement, etc., are things that have always been done, and they provide the handyman, either child or adult, with a full and entertaining life. And they open doors to the job market.

Sports, basketball, soccer, cycling, tennis, running, rock-climbing... all this has always entertained young people, I still remember the mini-championships at the village fairs with races and biking up to the top of the hill, this will continue alongside more modern sports like orienteering, etc. This is how I spent many summers in the villages of Burgos and Alicante.

Theater, keeping people amused by doing theater pieces, creating wardrobes, roll-playing... which is something that has entertained lots of people in various towns and which still continues to this day.

Town festivals, these days, have become old-fashioned and unpleasant for many people, because additionally, they have effectively devolved to a business proposition for a lot of people.

In truth they were nothing more than an opportunity to take a break from work in times of rest with respect to the agricultural cycle, normally after harvest time. It was usually the time when people got drunk and hooked up, ha ha. It’s not that I’m into this, it seems to be a pretty trashy way to find a mate, but it’s definitely been very effective.

Reading, study, the use of books as a type of leisure, literature of all sorts and textbooks printed on paper.

Things I don’t like but which are out there…

Hunting, something I don’t like at all, but which definitely has been a form of entertainment since forever and in addition provided a food supply.

Alcohol and drugs… sadly, these are always present in every society… I’m not a big fan of this type of pastime, but it has to be on the list as a product that has been and is consumed. I prefer to visualize societies where people don’t find it necessary to flee from their own realities, but homo homini lupus est1.


Board and card games, which were invented in the twentieth century and have exploded in the current twenty-first century, there are tens of thousands of board games that only require simple printing to produce and which are easily manufactured with low-tech technology, there are tens of thousands of choices for a board game, or card game which allows you to live without computers in the present or the future.

Escape Rooms, is a game where you have to get out of a room using your own ingenuity. Anyone who’s handy can create an Escape Room using one’s own imagination.

Roll playing, which came into vogue in the 20th century, and using your imagination you can have incredible adventures without computers.

New sports like rock-climbing, hiking, orienteering, ___________, insert here whatever new thing you’ve tried out lately… Obviously, the simpler the equipment is, the more practical it will be in a future without access to materials and any technology more complex than blacksmithing, etc., or nearby metal factories.


All the things I’ve listed could once again become important in the future.

What we might indeed lose is what keeps nearly the entire population entertained this days, but which is actually something very new: digital technology.

Imagen de Pexels en Pixabay.

Internet, cell phones, computers, cinema and TV shows, computer games… all things that in the last 20 years have become a form of entertainment for almost all Westerners, but which unfortunately, in the future could become less accessible.

Maybe we’ll return to those village cinemas where films were shown every week. Even the smallest town in Spain had a cinema by the middle of the twentieth century, where folks got together to watch celluloid films, I watched films in a town of 2.000 i2habitants in the Burgos region for 100 pesetas3. It was the last theater that was left in town.

I’ve written a book on the future of information technology, where I explain the reasons why I think this will all come to an end, called Peak Memory / Peak Computing which you can find here: www.relatoscolapsistas.com.

As you can see, there’ll be plenty of low-tech things to do! I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of things. As always, these are open articles: let me know what you think I’ve forgotten and we’ll add them to the article ([email protected]).

Thanks to Wild Way for suggestions that, as always, enrich these articles.

"I used to think that *I* was stupid, and then I met philosophers." -- Sir Terry Pratchett

1"Man is wolf to man."

2Roughly €0,60.

3Roughly €0,60.

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