Saturday, December 26, 2020

Essential Features of the Post-Nuclear Family ⸺ A Tweet Essay ๐Ÿงต by Glenn Campbell


Here are the essential features of my post-nuclear family, as define in a tweet essay. This long series of tweets starting on 26 December 2020, is merged into a single document here for ease of reading. The beginning of most tweets is marked by ➤. Text in [brackets] was added after the original tweets.



➤ ๐Ÿš€☢️๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ‘ง‍๐Ÿ‘ฆ #PostNuclearFamily — a family system proposed by Glenn Campbell where a permanent household of 9-18 kids is raised by multiple adults. Like other families, the PNF is a lifelong support structure linking adults into a community and providing care during sickness & old age.

➤ The aim is to raise a large number of children at relatively low cost, with  burdens and risks of parenthood distributed over multiple adults. It also aims to raise children successfully and consistently, using experience built over time. #dd_pnf

➤ Essential features—

① Kids are distributed in age every 1-2 years.

② No adults live in the home. Instead they come in for scheduled shifts.

③ Older children provide most routine care for younger children.

④ Childrearing never ends. As teens age out, new babies come in.

⑤ Kids are homeschooled under the management of a paid teacher.

⑥ Family is supported by a system of "taxes", similar to a church tithe. All working family members and alumni are expected to contribute.

⑦ Family provides a lifelong support system.

⑧ Apart from cooperating on the family, adults do not share their assets, and they are free to live any way they choose… like adult siblings today.

⑨ Primary "parental" bonds are between younger and older siblings. Adults are more like aunts/uncles.

⑩ When a member of the family retires from conventional work, they are expect to return to the home to care for children and sick siblings.

⑪ The family cares for anyone disabled by sickness or old age, adjacent to the home of the children.

⑫ Kids help provide routine care for the sick and elderly (in cooperation with adults).

⑬ In general, kids are expected to take on as much responsibility as they can reasonably handle at their age. e.g. They don't provide the food, but they cook it.

⑭ When a child raised by the family eventually dies, their assets are willed to the family.

➤ These are NOT essential features and are determined by the family itself—

  • Where the babies come from.
  • What curriculum is taught.
  • How the adults organize themselves.
  • How the family is formed.
  • How tasks and financial responsibilities are allocated.
  • How disputes are resolved.

➤ Although most of the routine work of the family is performed by children, adults provide the overall facilities and structure. They determine the family's policies by negotiation among themselves, and these policies are constantly evolving.

➤ Although "where the babies come from" is a policy matter decided among the adults, there are 3 essential features:

  1. Arrival of babies is deliberately spaced every 1-2 years.
  2. Genetic diversity is desirable.
  3. Where possible, babies are born in the home. 

➤ The normal, sustainable family size is 9 kids, age 0-18, spaced two years apart.

The family is expanded to 18 kids, one year apart, only to facilitate later "mitosis" dividing one family into two. Kids are "unzipped" into two families of 9 with a common culture.

➤ Exceptions and notes on the above…

Re ② "No adults live in the home"—except the sick and infirm. An adult returning to the home in retirement will still live outside of it as long as they are capable. They move into the home (or an adjacent one) only when they need assistance.

➤ This family structure was first introduced as the "modular family" in a 26 Mar 2019 video.

23 Oct 2020, it was renamed to the "post-nuclear family" and reintroduced in a series of podcasts starting with Demographic Doom Podcast #46 

➤ Attempts to describe PNF in a book have been abandoned (for now). Glenn's plan is contained only in podcasts and their scripts.

Playlists of PNF podcasts/videos—

๐ŸฆTwitter: #dd_pnf - #PostNuclearFamily 

➤ ๐ŸŽ‚ One easy way for the PNF to start is 3 or more couples decide to pool their resources and raise their children in one house, according to the template above. Children are conceived in the traditional way, but timed for 2-year spacing. Family is "mature" by Year 18, which is also around the time when the fertility of the original mothers dries up and the family has to search for more innovative sources of babies—as discussed in Podcast #50 ๐Ÿ”Š

➤ ๐Ÿ’Ž The family's most valuable asset is its culture—or "how we do things". It is refined over time and is passed as much from child to child as adult to child. Culture is the "institutional memory" of the family and includes habits that can't easily be put into words... 

➤ ๐Ÿ’Ž Preserving family culture is the reason childrearing never ends. The culture is passed continuously from child to child and gets more sophisticated with time. Preserving culture is also the reason new families are created by mitosis rather than from scratch.

➤ Branding ๐Ÿš€☢️๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ‘ง‍๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ‘ง‍๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ‘ง‍๐Ÿ‘ฆ

➤ ๐Ÿ’Ž Once born into the family, you're a member for life—like families today. Once childhood and "community service" are done, around age 22, young adults are free to do anything they want with their lives—so long as they pay their tithe. Some will stay close; others may ๐Ÿ›ซ๐ŸŒŽ.

➤ ๐Ÿ’Ž Since this is a genetically diverse family, there will be many different personalities and skill sets, even though the children are raised in the same environment. Some will be be adept at raising kids; others may be drawn to leadership or more mechanical tasks.

➤ ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐ŸŽ“ Graduates of the family spent their whole childhood cooperating with each other (to prepare meals, do laundry, etc), so we can expect them to cooperate well in adulthood. Every alumn is expected to serve the family their entire life, but the form of service is negotiable.

➤ ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐ŸŽ“ Some alumns may simple send cash ๐Ÿ’ธ from far away (known as "remittances"). Others may remain close to home and serve their family more directly. Direct service as an on-duty adult may be rewarded with a reduction in tithe.

➤ ⛪๐Ÿ•Œ๐Ÿ• A current analogy for the mature PNF is a church supported by its parishioners. Every member pays their tithe, and tasks are divided among them according to skills and inclination. Although there's a nominal leader/pastor, many functions are decentralized & self-motivated.

➤ ⛪๐Ÿ•Œ๐Ÿ• As in any house of worship, the people who are most powerful are those who choose to be actively involved. Some alumns may take an active interest in the raising of the next generation; others less so. To resolve disputes, there is a clearly defined power structure.

➤ ๐Ÿ‘ฎ Adults determine "policy", or the firm rules the family operates under. "Culture" is more organic and less under anyone's control. Policy determines the rules kids must follow. Culture determines how those rules are carried out and what people do within those boundaries.

➤ ๐Ÿ’ธ What makes adults pay their family taxes? Mainly it's loyalty to the people you grew up with, but there are also benefits. Family is a safety net and insurance plan in case you get sick or in trouble. If you don't pay, you may alienate your siblings or lose family services.

➤ ๐Ÿงฎ If the family adds one child every 2 years, and no new members are recruited, total family size eventually tops out at about 40-45 people, spanning ages 0-100. Not much different than a large traditional family of the past.

➤ ๐Ÿ’‘ Family size and composition are largely independent of romantic relationships. Alumns can make or break romantic relations with anyone they choose, so long as no children result. Partners of alumns are welcomed [to visit] but are not automatic family members entitled to support services.

➤ ๐Ÿ’‘ If diversity is sought in ๐Ÿ‘ถs, siblings may not be genetically related. However, per the #WestermarckEffect, teens and alums are unlikely to be romantically interested in the people they grew up with. Like most of us, they will look outside their family for love.

➤ ๐Ÿง‘‍๐Ÿซ Homeschooling is managed by a paid teacher recruited from within or outside the family, according to a curriculum actively negotiated by the adults. Education is seen as too important to be relegated to a government-run school.

➤ ๐Ÿ’‘➪๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ‘Ž Having a baby outside the sanction of your family is strongly discouraged, since the elders of the family reserve rights on the timing of babies and where they come from. If you have a baby without sanction, the baby may not be accepted into the main household.

๐Ÿง‘‍๐Ÿซ The "teacher" is more of an "educational manager", assigning resources and measuring milestones but doing little direct teaching. The teacher can rely on a variety of resources, including online learning, but the most important is older children teaching younger ones.

➤ ๐Ÿง‘‍๐Ÿซ Older kids teaching younger ones has the dual benefit of reducing labor requirements for adults while cementing skills of the older child. e.g...

๐Ÿง’ Child learns alphabet.

๐Ÿง’➪๐Ÿง’๐Ÿฝ Child teaches it to younger child.

๐Ÿง‘‍๐Ÿซ✔️๐Ÿง’๐Ÿง’๐Ÿฝ Teacher checks performance of both.

➤ ๐Ÿง‘‍๐Ÿซ Kids are expected to master a core curriculum, negotiated among the adults and with the teacher. What are the age-specific benchmarks? What books are required reading? If a kid zooms ahead in the core ๐Ÿ’จ they can focus more on topics that interest them.

➤ ๐Ÿง‘‍๐Ÿซ The teacher has these educational resources at their disposal:

  • older kids teaching younger ones
  • online learning
  • textbook learning/assigned reading
  • tutoring by adults, either remedial or advanced
  • facilitated autodidacticism
  • direct teaching by teacher

 ➤ #FacilitatedAutodidacticism is when teacher and student decide what the goals of learning should be, then the student chooses their own route to get there. The teacher plays an important role in keeping the student on track toward that goal—so they don’t get stuck in repetition.

➤ ๐Ÿ› The family may fund higher education for a kid but only if there is a credible pay-off (since the family is entitled to a “tithe” of the students future income). A kid who wants to be a doctor is more likely to be funded than a theater major.

➤ ๐Ÿ“บ๐Ÿ•น๐Ÿ“ฑ๐Ÿ’ป๐ŸŽง The family must carefully control electronic media, so it doesn’t interfere with educational and formation goals. The adults negotiate a policy on it, which is adjusted as new conditions arise. The policy should be nuanced but understandable to everyone.

➤ ๐Ÿช–⛑๐Ÿคฐ Upon reaching adulthood, circa age 18, young people begin a period of “community service“— duties to be determined. Analogous to National Service in ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ or ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ. For women, this could be bearing children. For men? Who knows๐Ÿคท‍♀️. Completed circa age 22.

➤ ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿคท‍♀️ Regardless of the family’s resources, children should be raised in an environment of mild poverty, where resources are relatively scarce and you have to negotiate with others to get what you want.

➤ ๐Ÿ“ฆ๐Ÿ” Although most resources in the core household are shared, kids are allowed to own personal property. It is stored in a steamer trunk at the foot of their ๐Ÿ›Œ. Anything inside the box that was fairly obtained is “yours“. Anything outside the box is community property.

➤ ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿง’๐Ÿ‘ฉ With the exception of twins ๐Ÿ‘ฏ‍♀️ no children in the family are the same age. This is intended to reduce direct competition and create a natural hierarchy. Older kids get more privileges, but this is seen as “fair“ to younger ones because they will be there soon.

➤ Here is a huge visual image of this tweet essay so far.



Short link for the original tweet thread: http://j.mp/pnf_thread

{This post backed up to email: 1/15/21}
{This post backed up as an image in a tweet: 1/15/21}