Contemplating Cohousing: A Paradigm for Modern Day Tribal Living

Jan. 24, 2020

Recently we’ve had remarkable guests on the podcast highlighting areas of evolutionary mismatch. It’s clear our society has disconnected from real food and good sleep, but we’ve also detoured from what’s optimal in how we congregate, educate, and support one another. We’ve divided ourselves into nuclear families, often leaving our children in the care of strangers so we can go to a job we don’t care about, in order to earn money to pay for our segregated lifestyle. Social isolation has become so common we barely realize the madness of it - until we need help and find that there’s no one nearby.

In this interview, I’m joined by my wife, food scientist Julie Kelly to talk about how our society could benefit from a cohousing model, transcending the current paradigm that leaves parents exhausted and young adults unable to afford housing. We discuss our own living situation and that of neighbours and friends, many of whom could benefit from living with others to share resources and skills. We’re in the contemplation stage of actually doing something about this, and would love to hear from you about experiences you’ve had - good or bad! - with cohousing or communal living. 

Here’s the outline of this interview with Julie Kelly:

[00:00:34] Podcast: Civilized to Death: Are We Really Making Progress? with Christopher Ryan.

[00:01:07] Stephanie Welch podcasts 1. Disruptive Anthropology: An Ancestral Health Perspective on Barefooting and Male Circumcision (she discusses the concept of nuclear family at the 55:13 minute mark), 2. The Need for Tribal Living in a Modern World, focusing more exclusively on cohousing.

[00:03:07] Whole 30.

[00:03:52] Book: The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease, by Daniel Lieberman.

[00:05:08] Book: Lifespan: Why We Ageā€•and Why We Don't Have To by David A. Sinclair, PhD.

[00:05:46] STEM-Talk Podcast: Episode 98: Steven Austad talks about aging and preserving human health.  

[00:05:46] Blue zone fraud; Study: Newman, Saul Justin. "Supercentenarians and the oldest-old are concentrated into regions with no birth certificates and short lifespans." bioRxiv (2019): 704080.

[00:06:22] Book: Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding, by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy.

[00:07:08] Alloparents.

[00:13:00] Attachment theory.

[00:26:42] Podcast: How to Optimise Your Gut Microbiome, with Lucy Mailing.

[00:30:59] Book: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh.

[00:33:40] Podcast on unschooling: How to Support Childhood Cognitive Development, with Josh Turknett, MD.

[00:36:00] Podcast: How to Live Well in a High Tech World, with Cal Newport.

[00:37:31] Strategies and tactics of cohousing.

[00:39:45] Contact me if you have experience with cohousing:

[00:42:30] Patreon; Forum thread on cohousing.

[00:42:48] Cohousing resources: Why Denmark dominates the World Happiness Report rankings year after year; Pocket Neighborhoods; The New Generation of Self-Created Utopias; My working cohousing Google doc.

[00:43:15] Podcast: A Statin Nation: Damaging Millions in a Brave New Post-health World, with Malcolm Kendrick.

[00:47:19] Starcity.

[00:49:56] Grandmother hypothesis.

[00:54:05] Cooperative breeding.

[00:58:07] Book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.

[00:58:12] Book: Radical candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, by Kim Scott.

[01:01:08] Book: Chop Wood Carry Water: How to Fall in Love with the Process of Becoming Great, by Joshua Medcalf.

[01:01:39] Podcast: Ketones for Performance, Cognition, and Cardiovascular Health, with Brianna Stubbs, PhD.

[01:03:18] Book: The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge, by Matt Ridley.

[01:06:05] Podcast: Building Compassionate Communities to Improve Public Health, with Julian Abel, MD.

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