Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind is a non-fiction book by American psychologist Gary Marcus. A “kluge” is a patched-together. May 30, Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind by Gary Marcus pp, Faber, £ Why do I find it so difficult to remember a string. Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind. Gary Marcus. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, pages, ISBN: (hbk); $

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How can such an idiotic book get published.

There are plenty of great reviews on Goodreads which summarise and review. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. Tye ask the neighbor”. As a piece of argument it falls short. The point, largely, is that the human brain, once so lauded see the Bible, Shakespeare, etc.

The human mind is a fantastic kluge and it is a quirky yet magnificent product of the entirely blind process of evolution. It was possible to do better. Jun 06, Laura Carmignani rated it really liked it. It can store and accurately retrieve memories, but it can also hardly absorb readily available information, and sometimes, memories which humsn be retrieved at one particular time can also be distorted due to subjectively retained external stimuli.

Why do I find it so difficult to remember a string of eight numbers, when my pocket calculator can do it without hesitation or error? To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind

Seen this way, most of the difficulties that we have using our brains can be chalked up to the inelegance resulting from evolution dictating that our brains need be just good enough to solve problems of survival, and not so much problems of living rationally.

He is also the editor of The Norton Psychology Reader, and the author of numerous science publications in leading journals, such as Science, Nature, Cognition, and Psychological Science. Deep Blue could beat Kasparov at a game demanding cognitive strategies, but ask it to escape from a predator, find food or a mate, and negotiate the complex interactions of social life outside the chessboard or express emotion when it lost a game, and constrkction couldn’t even leave the launchpad.


Cogently explains, among other things, how we can’t trust our own assessments about, well, nearly everything.

The book itself has some strong construdtion and raises some issues that appear to be somewhat profound, but in the end, from this reviewer’s perspective it vastly overreaches the evidence presented and attempts to draw conclusions in an authoritative manner that are a huge stretch.

Kluge (book) – Wikipedia

Want to Read saving…. Marcus also points to the logical syllogism, a highly evolved way of deductive reasoning.

I mean, yes, the spine is clearly a kluge–it’s faulty, it barely works, it’s incredibly prone to injury, etc. Is there anything in Marcus’ book not covered by Linden? Oct 20, Joel rated it liked it. The premise is that the mind’s faults are due to the brain’s having been evolving in a ocnstruction fashion.

Kluge is a great read, offering some keen insight into the way the human mind works. Instead God desifned man with contextual memory which has us retrieve memory by jind of something related to what we want to remember. A love of sugar and fat developed out of this scarcity of food. Accepting things at face value was selected for in the harsh environment of our haphazzrd. Interestin A long article stretched to a small book. While I don’t agree with the author’s position in that regard, that is not the basis of my evaluation of his book.

Trial-and-error evolution

In his words, our brains and minds are supreme kluges, a kluge being an engineer’s term for a clumsy solution to a design problem – an “ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts forming a distressing whole”, in the words of computer pioneer Jackson Granholm.

Natural selection is a messy system where solutions only have to be “good enough” to give a creature the edge. Apr 29, Nathan rated it liked it. Another day, another gripe about irrationality and cognitive deficiencies. Marcus gives excellent example This is for you, Kirsti! In particular, the human mind is contrasted to the human invention of the computer, which the author holds up as a more efficient and effective method of memory recall.

These are the sorts of things you can never hear too often ,ind avoiding confirmation bias where we select the facts that support our views and ignore those that challenge them, trying midn think of alternatives, reframing things so as to see what we are thinking about in another light — all of these are things we do far too infrequently and would be better people if we did them more often.


This turned out to be a wonderful little book which surveyed many of the ways in which the human brain doesn’t function rationally or ideally. Throughout, he shows how only evolution — haphazard and undirected — could have himan the minds we humans have, while making a brilliant case for the thhe and usefulness of imperfection.

It was an enjoyable book, especially the many references to study that showed just how ‘kluge-y’ the brain is. Mar 21, Colin rated it it was amazing. Evidence, he says, of the failure of evolution to develop protective mechanisms and implicitly another argument against design. My memory is a constant source of disappointment. Priming is a cognitive bias which causes us to make decisions based on an initial value provided to us.

He quotes that lovely line about rationalisation being more important than sex when was the last time you went a week without a rationalisation? Jul 25, Beth haphazqrd it really liked it Shelves: Marcus in questo saggio considera l’essere umano un kluge — un accrocchio, insomma. View all 3 comments. In the chapter on choice, for example, he points out that we often make highly irrational decisions when it comes to money because our mind is basically trying to wing it with a system that was developed not to deal with money but rather with food.

Sure, as he demonstrates, English is a kluge, but is this true in the same way of Chinese or Urdu? Books by Gary F. Originally Posted at http: Minds are slow, noisy, error-prone, but highly intelligent.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Most of mimd points seem worth pursuing, if for nothing else making oneself and others a little less susceptible to advertisers, and I might take a the book out from the library a second time just to go over that last chapter again. They see the brain as a little less imperfect than he does.

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