[Excerpt] These two books take different routes to the same conclusion: This Time It's For Real. The end of work is now upon us, and the jobless future beckons. This was portended in the past--by the development of steam-powered machinery, then electrical power, then by mid-twentieth century automation reflected in numerically-controlled machine tools, and even by the first and second generations of computers--but never realized as new outlets for employment took shape. Those days are done now. Advanced computers and software are bringing into being what Jeremy Rifkin calls a "near-workerless economy."