Living without browser Java has been easy. The only thing I've used that wanted to use the browser plugin for Java was the download manager on a web site that also had direct SSL links. No biggie.
Flash, on the other hand, is still in high demand. YouTube happily uses its HTML5 player if you don't have a flash plugin installed. However a number of webinars that I have attended required Flash to view. What saved me on this is that a ring-fenced version of the Flash plugin is integrated into Chrome. So I used another browser for most surfing, and specifically used Chrome for Flash-enabled content. That's not the same as getting Flash out of my life, but (as I've recommended in the past) a two browser strategy does help you mitigate risk and, as important, know when you are taking it.
About Andy Sherman
Andy Sherman, Eden Technologies’ security practice lead has a PhD in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and started his career in the academic world. He then went to AT&T Bell Laboratories where he discovered the power – and hazards – of large distributed computer networks. It was also at Bell Labs, during the early days of the Internet, that Andy became interested in the security problems associated with public networks. From Bell Labs Andy moved to the financial services industry. There he worked on a large range of infrastructure design, deployment, and management projects, but is best known for his 15+ years in information and technology security.