CrossFit, The Paleo Diet, and the ways that social media, and mobile devices empower us all seem to match the natural ways for people exercise, eat, communicate, and move respectively. It’s only in the last little bit of history have things gone off track with the how much and how we exercise, how we eat, how we communicate, and how we tend to spend all day sitting.
These four more natural behaviours help us live happier and healthier lives.
That got me thinking about all of the other ways we might be living that don’t match up with how our ancestors did, and if any of these behaviours could be damaging. I’m not saying I’d want to do away with technology or medicine, but lets see if our ancestors can give us any more clues on how to live better lives.
What other Paleo behaviours could be repurposed in our modern world?
For ideas I’ve taken some quotes from the Wikipedia article on Paleo-Indians:
Paleo-Indians (Paleoindians) or Paleoamericans is a classification term given to the first peoples who entered, and subsequently inhabited, the American continents during the final glacial episodes of the late Pleistocene period.
Folsom peoples traveled in small family groups for most of the year, returning yearly to the same springs and other favored locations on higher ground.
Late ice age climatic changes caused plant communities and animal populations to change. Groups moved from place to place as preferred resources were depleted and new supplies were sought. Small bands utilized hunting and gathering during the spring and summer months, then broke into smaller direct family groups for the fall and winter. Family groups moved every 3–6 days, possibly covering up to 360 km (220 mi) a year.
Constant travel year-round was necessary for Paleo-Indians for finding sources of food throughout the year.
This is very different than today where people typically only live in a single home and only travel for short periods either recreationally or for work.
Paleo-Indians also seemed to collect into larger family units during the winter months.
Paleo-Indian were not numerous and population densities were quite low.
Paleo-Indians didn’t live in large groups, but they also didn’t live alone.
This makes me think about the large offices and teams that might include hundreds of people. It may be evolutionarily unnatural for us to be a part of such large organizations.
I remember hearing the story of companies like Apple designing their offices around Dunbar’s number (commonly represented as 150). When their offices would grow larger than 150 employees, they would split people out into a new office.
These peoples were spread over a wide geographical area; thus there were regional variations in lifestyles. However, all the individual groups shared a common style of stone tool production
Tribes all had to make tools in order to survive. Presumably these tools were simple and functional.
Maybe we have an evolutionary affinity for simple tools, and maybe we’re all born as makers. What we make might be an important part of our identity.
I bet there’s a ton of interesting ideas that could be taken with just a bit of research. Maybe the 9-5 work week is incompatible with our evolution, and maybe the way knowledge was passed down by Paleo-Indian hunter-gatherers to their children holds some insights on how we’re best adapted to learn.