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); $ Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind is a non-fiction book by American psychologist Gary Marcus. A “kluge” is a patched-together.

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Our memories are weak, we are credulous and easily led to believe improbable or impossible things, our language is not optimally constructed.

Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind

It was possible to do better. Marcus disagrees; he thinks some things that appear like flaws on the surface really are flaws, klluge to the fact that evolution is only concerned with what is good enough, not what would be ideal.

It’s my second favorite organ!

Showing a photo of an angry person made participants in a study drink less of a lemon drink than those who were shown a photo of a happy person. On the way out of the study, these people walked out slower than other groups.

Computers are designed, minds have evolved. Marcus also points to the logical syllogism, a highly evolved way of deductive reasoning.

Trial-and-error evolution

Perhaps it isn’t biological evolution to be blamed hu,an, but the injustices of the social order within which human biological evolution is occurring. Marcus also klugr surprisingly effective ways to outwit our inner kluge, for the betterment of ourselves and society. Which is exactly why recognizing a kluge, and how it might be improved upon, sometimes requires thinking outside the box.

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. Perhaps this is as a good reason as any to believe in an ever-present God? May 23, Bart Breen rated it liked it.


Others cobble together kluges out of a mixture of desperation and resourcefulness, like the TV character MacGyver, who, needing to make a quick getaway, jerry-built a pair of shoes from duct tape and rubber mats. Up front, the author jumps to the material of Richard Dawkins and other popular books in the realm of atheism in an apparent mluge to piggy back upon or appropriate some of the controversy or success perhaps of these works, to make comments in the realm of this populist field.

Nov 15, Melody rated it really liked it. I will be writing a probably vitriolic post on this topic tomorrow at http: The best bit of this is the last bit where he goes through the sorts of things that one ought to do not to be too fooled by our makeshift minds towards the end. But it”s still flawed, often in ways we scarcely recognize.

Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind – Gary Marcus – Google Books

Marcus offers the story of Apollo 13 mission control engineer, Ed Smylie, as an example of a well-known kluge. Yes, the human brain does seem to have been made in rather a “hodge-podge” manner, but it has been necessarily so. The imnd breezy style is evidently attuned to an American market in which haphazzard target reader is – in Marcus’s own phrase – “Joe Sixpack” or, presumably, his female partner.

Marcus starts out by noting that if God made man in His image, and if evoultion made man perfect, it’s more than passingly strange that we have lousy spines that are actually retreaded quadruped spines. Return to Book Page. Evidence, he says, of the failure of evoolution to develop protective mechanisms and implicitly another argument against design. And had to explain it. Why do Tye find it so difficult to remember a string of eight numbers, when my pocket calculator can do it without hesitation or error?


Most of these 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. The lives of the three astronauts were saved. In the chapter on choice, for example, he points out that we often make highly irrational decisions when it lluge 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.

Gary Marcus, NYU professor of psychology, is intent on letting you know that your brain is not as rational as you think it is.

Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind by Gary F. Marcus

Those who firmly believe they are in perfect control of their mind and in what happens to them and their bodies and who expect others to be the same might find this ‘message’ disconcerting. 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. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt- Psychology – pages. The title rhymes with ‘rouge’ or ‘scrooge’, and is slang for ‘a clumsy or inelegant solution to mund problem’.

Marcus is not shy about highlighting the fact that klugey nature of our minds does not bode well for arguments in favor of intelligent design. It will make us calmer, more tolerant and understanding, evolutipn judgemental, and more able to be amused rather haphazafd annoyed or even angry at ourselves and towards others.

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