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

  • Title: Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind
  • Author: Gary F. Marcus
  • ISBN: 9780618879649
  • Page: 104
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Are we noble in reason Perfect, in God s image Far from it, says New York University psychologist Gary Marcus In this lucid and revealing book, Marcus argues that the mind is not an elegantly designed organ but rather a kluge, a clumsy, cobbled together contraption He unveils a fundamentally new way of looking at the human mind think duct tape, not supercomputerAre we noble in reason Perfect, in God s image Far from it, says New York University psychologist Gary Marcus In this lucid and revealing book, Marcus argues that the mind is not an elegantly designed organ but rather a kluge, a clumsy, cobbled together contraption He unveils a fundamentally new way of looking at the human mind think duct tape, not supercomputer that sheds light on some of the most mysterious aspects of human nature.Taking us on a tour of the fundamental areas of human experience memory, belief, decision making, language, and happiness Marcus reveals the myriad ways our minds fall short He examines why people often vote against their own interests, why money can t buy happiness, why leaders often stick to bad decisions, and why a sentence like people people left left ties us in knots even though it s only four words long.Marcus also offers surprisingly effective ways to outwit our inner kluge, for the betterment of ourselves and society Throughout, he shows how only evolution haphazard and undirected could have produced the minds we humans have, while making a brilliant case for the power and usefulness of imperfection.
    Kluge The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind Are we noble in reason Perfect in God s image Far from it says New York University psychologist Gary Marcus In this lucid and revealing book Marcus argues that the mind is not an elegantly designed

    One thought on “Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind”

    1. In some ways the start of this is just The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making put into chapters and continuous prose Not that I mean that as a bad thing quite the opposite The ideas in both books are terribly important to anyone with a brain, particularly anyone who finds that brain getting away with terribly odd and distressing things at times.When I Googled Kluge I found that there are quite a few people out there called Kluge as my American friends might say a bit of a bummer In this [...]

    2. Kluge is a slang term for a clumsy or inelegant solution to a problem In this new book, psychologist Gary Marcus argues that the human mind itself is a kluge, and then goes on to discuss how this explains why you can t remember the name of that woman from your yoga class when you run into her at the movie theater.The basis of Marcus argument is that evolution was working with the tools at hand when it whipped up the complex parts of our brain and that the result, while generally functional, is [...]

    3. As this book suggests, the human mind is a mixture of inconsistencies It can systematically plan and prepare, but it can also disregard those prepared plans in favor of immediate and short term gratification It can store and accurately retrieve memories, but it can also hardly absorb readily available information, and sometimes, memories which can be retrieved at one particular time can also be distorted due to subjectively retained external stimuli In other words, despite its reliability in cer [...]

    4. This wonderful book confronts a truth about evolution as it relates to biological science The title rhymes with rouge or scrooge , and is slang for a clumsy or inelegant solution to a problem It is used by Marcus to refer to the haphazard construction of the human mind, as necessitated by evolution.Darwinian evolution has given us powerful insights which explain how each one of us as individuals are indeed individuals we are products of a system which, while generally resulting in similar lookin [...]

    5. I read the NOOkcolor ebook edition I thought I d really love a book about evolution s mistakes, especially one who shows irrefutably Creationists are Marcus starts out by noting that if God made man in His image, and if he made man perfect, it s than passingly strange that we have lousy spines that are actually retreaded quadruped spines Everyone who has had back and neck problems can relate to this,However, that was the beginning Where Marcus goes stupidly wrong is his claim that if God really [...]

    6. This book is a sort of laundry list of quirks in human psychology and information processing Marcus tries to use this list in the conclusion as an argument against creationism, but from my perspective it comes across as offering a bunch of vaguely related anecdotes If you ve already read something from Kahneman Tversky or Lakoff, I d say you re safe skipping this one.

    7. The Good 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 The examples are wonderful, and I found exception with very few of his arguments Similar to Malcolm Gladwell s Blink, Kluge gave me a bit of insight into how to combat the flaws in my brain s design and to live rationally At the end, Marcus explains successfully how the science of evolutionary psychology roundly debunks intelligent design theory. [...]

    8. Marcus takes a new slant our brains are the products of evolution, and as such, are not perfect In fact, they re a kluge of different evolutionary developments, each overlaying on top of each other He ends the book with some advice on how we can handle our imperfect minds sort of like a self help book on how we can deal with our klugey minds.One annoying thing he gradually uses footnotes toward the end of the book For some reason, it began to annoy me M

    9. This is for you, Kirsti First of all, I learned a new word in reading Kluge , and I have used that word in conversation already And had to explain it But that s hardly the point of this book.The point, largely, is that the human brain, once so lauded see the Bible, Shakespeare, etc , is really just a somewhat cobbled together affair which does the job but leaves much to be desired the definition of kluge being a clumsy or inelegant solution to a problem Marcus gives excellent examples of kluges [...]

    10. Un kluge una soluzione temporanea alla bell e meglio, con i materiali che si hanno a disposizione, a un problema che va risolto in poco tempo Marcus in questo saggio considera l essere umano un kluge un accrocchio, insomma Basti vedere l apparato respiratorio e quello digerente, separati solamente da una piccola membrana o la spina dorsale che non adatta per camminare su due gambe e quindi crea problemi alla schiena Continua poi con argomenti pi specifici come la memoria, la fede, la felicit e, [...]

    11. Non ricordo di preciso n quando lo lessi n cosa ne pensai, ma ricordo che mi piant nella testa una delle idee pi potenti e veritiere che abbia mai incontrato noi, il nostro corpo, siamo soluzioni ai problemi dell ambiente, ma soluzioni kluge , ovvero fatte alla meglio Niente a che vedere con un progetto o una direzione, l evoluzione ha usato strutture pre esistenti per adattarsi.Insomma se uno studia il corpo e come si adattato scopre che ci sarebbero millemila modi migliori per svolgere le funz [...]

    12. This book presented one of the best arguments I ve heard against creationism intelligent design It suggests that we evolved enough to surive, rather than to the very best, so many human systems the spine, our reasoning capacities, even language is just good enough , and often not the optimal, but rather a kluge which does the job needed but nothing Why would an intelligent designer create such an imperfect system when they could make the best one possible I don t agree with everything this writ [...]

    13. A long article stretched to a small book This popsci book will be disappointing to anyone who tends to follow brain mind science, but to someone who is new to the field will enjoy this book The premise is that the mind s faults are due to the brain s having been evolving in a stepwise fashion Our original primate brain reflexive has had layered on top of it a deliberative section These two parts are often fighting for control producing results that are not always satisfactory Interesting theory [...]

    14. In Kludge, Gary Marcus highlights a number of design problems with the mind and explains the corresponding evolutionary reasons why these problems have arisen It s a very easy read but also very deep in knowledge I found items in my own life explained that have always bothered me deeply why is goal setting so difficult it always seems like future discounting takes away the desire to to good goal setting He also recommends some ideas on how to get past these mind design failures.

    15. Tremendously enjoyable explication of the cobbled together nature of the human mind Cogently explains, among other things, how we can t trust our own assessments about, well, nearly everything The chapter on language is especially fascinating, the chapters that cover rationalizations and happiness are squirm inducing than otherwise Very accessible and full of enough lame jokes and fun asides to keep it from being too scientific Highly recommended.

    16. Found the content very interesting, not only as it applies to me but also, as a teacher, as it applies to my students and why some of them just can t memorize their math facts or other useful information I m reminded of the importance that learning be contextual and am further inspired to keep plugging away at best teaching practices

    17. Kluge The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind by Gary Marcus New York Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008 211 pp Originally Posted at wherepenmeetspaperGary Marcus is a professor of psychology and the director of the Center for Language and Music at New York University, where he studies language and cognitive development He is also the author of the book Guitar Zero The New Musician and the Science of Learning The Not So Elegant Mind I read Marcus most recent book, Guitar Zero not long ago, and dec [...]

    18. Another day, another gripe about irrationality and cognitive deficiencies Props for talking a bit about evolution, but it wasn t especially deep.

    19. It Might be evidence of its own ConclusionThis book is its own best argument for the haphazard, meandering quality of the human brain and the human thinking process.The book itself has some strong points 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 Up front, the author jumps to the material of Richard Dawk [...]

    20. I enjoy reading about the imperfections of humans so was excited to read this.The most exciting thing I learnt is that memory is context dependent A study showed divers who memorised facts underwater were better able to recall these facts while underwater I ll now be doing all web dev studies at my computer I m considering how I can make my home desk like my work desk to maximise recall at work.Kluge explains how humans rely both on reflexive and deliberative systems The reflexive is the older [...]

    21. This is a short almost too short and accessible introduction to the idea that the human mind is, well, not as perfect as we like to believe While evolution does lead to supremely well designed and efficient organisms and biological processes, it also leads to a lot of junk Marcus uses the term kluge from engineering to describe the many ways in which the human mind is sub optimal from the point of view of some imagined perfect design He does justifiably grind his ax against the absurdity of crea [...]

    22. I guess I went in to this book already agreeing with the author I ve held my memory in contempt for quite a while, and that was one of the chapters of the book It was an enjoyable book, especially the many references to study that showed just how kluge y the brain is However, I enjoyed On Intelligence better, if you ve only got time to read one of the two.From the book p.25 A study where people were given a bunch of words that they were to unscramble into a sentence, and the words were things li [...]

    23. Gary Marcus, NYU professor of psychology, is intent on letting you know that your brain is not as rational as you think it is This book focuses mainly on cognitive errors and what they tell us about the brain Marcus relies heavily on the metaphor of the brain as computer and employs an engineerig term, kluge , to say just how effective a computer he thinks it is According to Marcus, a kluge is an effective, but inelegant solution to a problem Seen this way, most of the difficulties that we have [...]

    24. My brain It s my second favorite organ said Miles Monroe, aka Woody Allen, in Sleeper I agree And now Gary Marcus comes along to explain that the brain is just a patched together mass of cells that rarely interact smoothly How shocking So much for God s loftiest of creations humans There are three layers to the brain and each developed at a different period of human evolution The hindbrain has been around the longest and is in charge of the real basics, breathing, hunger, balance, awareness, thi [...]

    25. Reading this book is a bit like reading David Brooks while it s pretty interesting for those of us interested, at a shallow level, in sociology and psychology and evolutionary biology, I find myself disagreeing with a lot of what is said In an ideal worlde parts of our brain that decide which activities are pleasurable would be extremely fussy, responding only to things that are truly good for us For example, fruits have sugar, and mammals need sugar, so it makes sense that we should have evolve [...]

    26. I liked this all right, and thought the author had a good argument, about our shortcomings being the result of our brain adapting earlier structures for purposes nature never intended, as it were I thought the section on memory was particularly enlightening I ve never thought of our memories before as being contextually based.I do wish the author had spent time on the original purposes of the brain s structures, though, rather than being didactic to a Victorian degree, almost about our shortcom [...]

    27. Finally, a pop science book that doesn t sacrifice breadth or accuracy in a pleasant and short read Think Malcolm Gladwell , but from the perspective of a real scientist, and hence, a accurate description of the studies cited to support the main point of the book Though I may be biased, since I am rather sympathetic to the views presented by Marcus The central idea of this book is that the human mind is not a masterpiece of evolution that many of us like to think it is rather, the mind is a klu [...]

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