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Comment author: Alicorn 17 March 2017 05:22:11AM 2 points [-]

I mean that if someone moves out, the landlord is likely to choose a nonrationalist to rent the place, and that streets seldom have many houses available all at once for a coordinated move.

Comment author: juliawise 17 March 2017 11:27:04AM *  2 points [-]

It might depend on the market, but I live up the street from a three-apartment building that was occupied by a co-op for a long time. The co-op residents enforced stuff like not messing up the house, and because lots of people wanted to live in the co-op the landlord never had to worry about vacancies.

Assuming the landlord likes the initial group of tenants, having a group of tenants who will pre-vet new tenants and will find those tenants themselves should be very appealing.

This would require patience and risk-tolerance on the part of the initial group, if they're renting apartments or buying houses in an area where they hope more will become available but don't know when (and don't know that their friends will still want to join them when space is available.)

Comment author: RomeoStevens 17 March 2017 05:53:34AM *  12 points [-]

I've looked into housing prices for multi family complexes and they scale sublinearly with number of bedrooms. The biggest obstacle is that people aren't really willing to invest significant fractions of their income in them currently (because you don't want to have to gather 8 investors for an 8 unit, chaos/life happens). Ideally something like 3 people/couples who think they are relatively stable would take on responsibility for an 8 unit with a significant fraction of their income. This is a risk, but one of the top regrets of old people is becoming socially isolated. I think investing a significant fraction of ones income in what will eventually turn partially into semi-passive income (once the mortgage is paid) and partially into their community it is okay to invest a larger than usual fraction of income in. This will still likely take an individual slightly more wealthy than your average techie to eat a larger chunk of the down payment than others and thus own more of the equity in the income stream.

I suspect this is fairly impossible in the bay area which has the lowest conscientiousness people in the US AFAIK.

Edit what I mean by pointing out low conscientiousness is that many people are incredibly short sighted and will defect when short term opportunities look better ie they will not tough out a few years of sub-optimal financial arrangement ie people don't actually grasp the concept of investing in a community. Related to why our kind can't cooperate.

Comment author: juliawise 17 March 2017 11:14:01AM *  15 points [-]

Yeah, when I looked into cohousing this is what I concluded too. My husband and I ended up buying a house with 6 bedrooms and occupying two of them (then adding two more family members and building two more bedrooms.) None of our housemates would have bought in because they're not sure how long-term they want to be here, but they're happy to be renters and we're happy to own the building.

To us it's important that the arrangement be flexible; rather than a single big house we bought a house that had been divided into two apartments, so if we ever want to stop having housemates or we can't find housemates who want to live with us, we can pick the smaller or the larger apartment and rent the other one out. There's also some possibility of our kids wanting to rent from us in 20 years, which we think will work better if they can have their own apartment. I wouldn't have wanted to sink our savings into something that would really only work in one configuration.

Comment author: wubbles 17 March 2017 02:12:02AM 1 point [-]

I am interested! Note that zoning might make this hard, but maybe we could buy adjacent bungalows and reconfigure them. Wasn't the bay supposed to be commune friendly?

Comment author: juliawise 17 March 2017 02:22:25AM 3 points [-]

N Street Cohousing in Davis CA is a classic example of this. http://nstreetcohousing.org/

In response to comment by khafra on Dead Child Currency
Comment author: AlexanderRM 02 September 2015 11:01:33PM 0 points [-]

Worth noting that the dead baby value is very different from the actual amount which most Westerners regard the lives of white, middle-class people from their own country as being worth. In fact, pretty much the whole point of the statistic is that it's SHOCKINGLY low. I suppose we could hope that Dead Baby currency would result in a reduction to that discrepancy... although I think in the case of the actual example given, the Malthusians* have a point where it would dramatically increase access to life-prolonging things without increasing access to birth control much, resulting in more population and thus more people to save.

*To clarify: I actually agree with the Malthusian ecology- it's just a basic fact of ecology, I'm amazed that anyone seriously disagrees with it- but not to the objection to charitable donations on that basis; anyone who actually thinks that would go "you should instead give money to provide birth control".

Comment author: juliawise 28 October 2015 08:12:27PM *  0 points [-]

If the demographic transition continues, I'm not too worried about Malthusian scenarios. It seems that people who are less worried about their children being wiped out by disease have fewer children.

Another option is interventions that improve lives without saving them, such as deworming.

Comment author: Larks 05 September 2015 09:16:42PM 0 points [-]

I'm looking to buy a sofa without flame retardants. The Center for Enviromental Health suggests that all IKEA products are fine, but at least in 2012 it seems that they instead substituted another chemical flame retardant, TRIS. Does anyone know if IKEA furniture is now chemical flame retardant free, or if there are any other good options for below $1,000 ?

Comment author: juliawise 14 September 2015 02:41:13AM *  0 points [-]

The law just changed for 2015, so although many companies were switching to less-toxic ones in the past they are now free to not use any flame retardants at all, and some are doing so. All IKEA furniture manufactured after Jan 1, 2015 should be fine. The only exception would be if you somehow bought something that was made before then, but I imagine their turnover is fast enough their 2014 stock is all sold.

Comment author: [deleted] 21 July 2015 08:54:22AM 1 point [-]

The hygiene hypothesis states that lack of exposure to germs and parasites increases risk of auto-immune disease. Our pediatrician recommended letting Lily playing in the dirt for this reason.

It is fairly common-sense where I live - docs say "kids need to eat a kg of dirt a year". The worst thing I did was picking up pigeon feathers from the pavement and licking it. That was actually too much for my immune system, got a streptococcus infection.

We too have a 1.5 year old daughter and it is weird how most things simply don't relate: living in a new build in-situ concrete apartment house, new built = strictly regulated, things like lead or pesticides didn't even come into question. IKEA has always been an obvious choice instead of buying something expensive.

About the child seat in the car, funny story: I was wanting to get rid of my car as it was entirely unnecessary with two tramway lines in front of our flat, but I was in the old "if you have a kid, you must have a car, for emergencies" mood. Well, we had them, as we had this yellow skin / bilirubin issue after birth and went back to the hospital several times, but every time it was far easier to just roll the pram on the comfortably pram and wheelchair accessible tramway and get off 8 stops later than to put the baby seat in the car (we could not leave it there as the sun would make it hot) and then put a sleeping baby in it who will probably wake up and be angry etc. So we got rid of the car soon after. It feels weird, to have a family without a car but I am starting to think it may be the future in such densely settled European metropoles (we live in Vienna). I am worried about my driving skills deteriorating though. Gone are the times when I lived in Birmingham, drove to a client in Edinburgh and wasn't even too tired.

We are not health food types, classic meat and potatoes types more like, so my wife was getting omega-3 from a timed vitamin and supplement complex meant for pregnant women. Timed = different packages for different stages of pregnancy. I have heard some debates about omega-3 pills doing less than actually eating fish, but never really believed them, it is literally fish oil extracts after all. However she likes smoked salmon (IKEA gravadlax) so she ate it occasionally.

Overally so far our results seem genetics based. My daughter is like me in the sense of big, strong, heavy, and lazy, i.e. not wanting to stand and walk at 17 months. This is not strength based, when she gets fussy she kicks like a horse, it is probably laziness based like in my case or poor balance (could also be inherited from me).

She does not speak either and is really fussy, screaming a lot, which is worrisome and stressful, this is a bit unlikely to be genetics (both of us were early talkers and this is usually a sign of intelligence so I am starting to have some fears in the IQ department).

Comment author: juliawise 23 July 2015 12:16:50AM *  2 points [-]

She does not speak either and is really fussy, screaming a lot

Where I live, a child with in that situation would probably be referred for early childhood intervention (a free service where health visitors come to your home and work with you and your child). I wonder if that's available where you live?

For kids that are slow in speaking (or really any babies), one thing that's common here is to use baby sign language to allow them to communicate before they're speaking. We've found it's really helpful for our daughter to be able to communicate things like "more" and "all done" with hand signals. Still working on "hungry" vs. "thirsty", since currently all that is encompassed by "more." I think it reduces fussiness because she can express her needs better and we can meet them better.

Comment author: Elo 20 July 2015 11:55:57PM *  2 points [-]

really good review.

Germs - Good understanding on the hygiene theory. Its worth also adding that younger children get over sickness easier and probably won't have a memory of any pain of the process, so if you were to catch chicken pox - best to do it earlier in life. I personally believe in dirt and other exposure.

Lead - I don't know if you are aware but lead testing kits are pretty easy to acquire. Basic chemistry can help you figure out if a thing is lead or not.

Cats - I would say not to live with cats at all, especially not a small child. I know you think your cats are indoor cats, but a few experiments have been conducted on cats with collar-cameras which showed even the nicest of cats seem to manage to get out and eat things when no one is watching. I wonder if looking into this information will change your mind about the safety of living with cats. Part of me is very concerned about how much we don't know about what toxo does to humans. We know it makes rats more attracted to cats urine to encourage them to get eaten and pass on the toxo. I am concerned for the ability of toxo to get to the brain and modify it.

pets - certainly live with pets, I believe it does wonderful things for social-ness and empathy and companionship. (there is a vegan argument against having animals, but I believe it is important to have them), food animals - i.e. chickens - will help children understand where food comes from, as well as growing foods and herbs, lemon trees, and others add childhood memories to one's life. I personally keep bees, depending on your climate that might not work for you, and also the risk of stings exists. Having a personal model of a creature of a simple mind and simple behaviour is a good thing for building social intelligence brains.

IQ - I have no answer, but there is information that being more than 30 points away from your peers can be socially isolating and not actually lead to progress. If IQ was a good predictor of success (in various metrics) it would be more clear to be so. If you expect the world to change significantly to make this not a problem in the future then carry on, but I don't know how to consider limiting IQ to more socially productive levels.

Good Luck!

Edit: fish - I would trust some fish sources, i.e. river farmed, or private farm - depending on what they feed the fish and where the food comes from. also for the nutrients of fish oils.

Comment author: juliawise 21 July 2015 09:54:20PM 0 points [-]

Also, there's now a chicken pox vaccine, so no need to catch it at all.

Comment author: [deleted] 21 July 2015 08:58:30AM 0 points [-]

What kinds of pets are third floor apartment friendly? We too have an 1.5 year old girl and would consider a pet when she will old enough to take responsibility for it, like, at 6.We are held back with stuff like cats will fall out a window and disappear. I never had a pet and don't like them much but for example I have seen some apartment kids having turtles, which look like a boring kind of a pet.

Comment author: juliawise 21 July 2015 11:59:54AM *  1 point [-]

Gerbils? Guinea pigs? Mice? Birds? They don't have personality in the way that dogs or cats do, but might appease a six-year-old.

Comment author: Elo 21 July 2015 05:50:50AM 1 point [-]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_behavior suggests that cat behaviour is to escape or try to do so.

some sources of cats damaging wildlife: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/pets/9462354/Cats-killing-more-wildlife-than-previously-thought.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/pets/9307745/CatCam-could-vindicate-pets-accused-of-killing-birds.html http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/01/29/170600655/behind-cute-face-a-cold-blooded-killer-study-finds-cats-kill-billions-of-animals

papers: http://www.kittycams.uga.edu/research.html http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n1/full/ncomms2380.html

a fact-check on some information: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-13/greg-hunt-feral-cat-native-animals-fact-check/5858282 which is hilarious and embarrassing and evidence that chain-of-whispers is very real.

a source that is biased: http://www.australianwildlife.org/media/27964/AWC-Wildlife-Matters-Summer-2012-2013.pdf

a good summary of multiple sides of some studies: http://members.iinet.net.au/~rabbit/catdeb.htm

the basic facts: Cats that are outdoors seem kill a lot of other animals. Sometimes they bring them home, sometimes they do not. Estimates suggest massive 10^6 - 10^9 sort of numbers of animals being killed. If you are sure that your cats never leave the house and never have a chance to eat animals, that's fine, I am still suspicious, what about birds near windows?

-- I have first-hand anec-data about the seriousness of toxoplasmosis.

Having said all this I definitely have a personal preference for liking dogs over cats. As a separate point I prefer the psychology of dogs to that of cats where dogs are happier, and cats are temperamental at times (not counting for variations in both dogs and cats where either can be happy and either can be temperamental)

Comment author: juliawise 21 July 2015 10:47:09AM *  3 points [-]

None of these sources are about indoor cats. They are all about feral or indoor-outdoor cats.

I did find a study about the prevalence of toxo in Polish indoor cats, which was 19% if they were not fed raw meat. A study on "indoor" cats in Rhode Island animal shelters found 26% had toxo. That last one seems a bit odd, because you don't know much about the history of a cat at a shelter. A lot of cat adoption places make you promise to keep the cat indoors, but they have no way of checking, so people returning an unwanted cat to a shelter may claim to have kept their promise even if they didn't. In any case, no indication of whether these cats got toxo while they were indoor cats, or for example while kittens with a different owner.

I would feel more comfortable without cats, but since they belong to my housemates they're not my choice. Luckily one is blind and the other seems pretty incompetent (the cats, not the housemates).

Comment author: Elo 20 July 2015 11:55:57PM *  2 points [-]

really good review.

Germs - Good understanding on the hygiene theory. Its worth also adding that younger children get over sickness easier and probably won't have a memory of any pain of the process, so if you were to catch chicken pox - best to do it earlier in life. I personally believe in dirt and other exposure.

Lead - I don't know if you are aware but lead testing kits are pretty easy to acquire. Basic chemistry can help you figure out if a thing is lead or not.

Cats - I would say not to live with cats at all, especially not a small child. I know you think your cats are indoor cats, but a few experiments have been conducted on cats with collar-cameras which showed even the nicest of cats seem to manage to get out and eat things when no one is watching. I wonder if looking into this information will change your mind about the safety of living with cats. Part of me is very concerned about how much we don't know about what toxo does to humans. We know it makes rats more attracted to cats urine to encourage them to get eaten and pass on the toxo. I am concerned for the ability of toxo to get to the brain and modify it.

pets - certainly live with pets, I believe it does wonderful things for social-ness and empathy and companionship. (there is a vegan argument against having animals, but I believe it is important to have them), food animals - i.e. chickens - will help children understand where food comes from, as well as growing foods and herbs, lemon trees, and others add childhood memories to one's life. I personally keep bees, depending on your climate that might not work for you, and also the risk of stings exists. Having a personal model of a creature of a simple mind and simple behaviour is a good thing for building social intelligence brains.

IQ - I have no answer, but there is information that being more than 30 points away from your peers can be socially isolating and not actually lead to progress. If IQ was a good predictor of success (in various metrics) it would be more clear to be so. If you expect the world to change significantly to make this not a problem in the future then carry on, but I don't know how to consider limiting IQ to more socially productive levels.

Good Luck!

Edit: fish - I would trust some fish sources, i.e. river farmed, or private farm - depending on what they feed the fish and where the food comes from. also for the nutrients of fish oils.

Comment author: juliawise 21 July 2015 02:53:39AM 2 points [-]

One possibility is to get a cat that already has toxoplasmosis (I believe you can get them tested), since they can't shed it after the first few weeks. But you're more likely to get it from undercooked meat, anyway, so if you're really concerned it's probably best to focus attention there.

Source on cats getting out of the house, killing and eating animals, and then sneaking back in unnoticed? Especially unlikely in our second-floor apartment since the cat would have to make it through a closed door four separate times without anyone knowing.

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