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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But he doesn’t pause to consider why there is a growing world-wide epidemic of psychic distress, why children are unhappy or why women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as men.

While I don’t agree with the author’s position in that regard, that is not the basis of my evaluation of his book. And the newest area, the forebrain, sits atop the rest and governs language and decision making. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. 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.

Our memory would be robust, our recollections reliable. Since the main ideas presented on this book are based on Evolutionary psychology, much of its concepts had to be looked into question, and since the mind is modeled like a clumsy instrument, developing on a random process, the question remains, is it really so? Relies on classic old behavioural experiments.

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. One of my favourite bits from this last section of the book was a report of an investigation where it was found that people tended to pay for their coffee more frequently in the office honesty-box if there was a poster near the coffee with a pair of eyes in it rather than a poster with a flower, say.


Like Thinking, Fast and Slow but he tries to explain the many cognitive biases in terms of evolutionary adaptations.

There is a nice piece of research on asking female coffee drinkers about some research into the bad effects of coffee on women here where many of lkuge biases are shown all too clearly. As a piece of argument it falls short. Feb 03, Rebecca rated it really liked it. Another day, another gripe about irrationality and cognitive deficiencies.

More problematic is that he’s not really inclined to draw what would seem to be the obvious inference of his argument: Kluge explains how humans rely both on reflexive and deliberative systems.

Kluge, The Book, by Gary Marcus

Okay, so this is more of a “things I learnt from the book” than a review, oh well. We make choices that are apparently irrational and not in our own best long-term interests, and certainly not in those of our genes.

Jul 25, Trevor rated it really liked it Shelves: According to Marcus, a kluge is an effective, but inelegant solution to a problem. I hope the book and Marcus’ 13 suggestions for becoming a better “thinker” stay with me. Account Options Sign in.

Trial-and-error evolution

He would’ve given homo sapiens memory like a computer’s, what he calls “postal code memory,” in which each memory is at a specific address in the brain.

Ultimately, however, appreciation of this reality of our imperfection can only result in the acquisition of greater wisdom, not only about ourselves and the external world, but also in regard how we ‘deal’ personally, socially, politically, etc. One annoying thing – he gradually uses more footnotes toward the end of the book. First of all, I learned a new word in reading “Kluge”, and I have used that word in conversation already.

How can such an idiotic book get published. The only problem is that the amount of suction created by the engine varies, depending on how ghe the engine is working.


This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

Originally Posted at http: The reflexive is I enjoy reading about the imperfections of humans so was excited to read this. Anche strutture complesse come occhi o polmoni. Where Shakespeare imagined infinite reason, I see something else, what engineers call a “kluge. This book takes a quick trip through the human mind and what sort of evolutionary construction could have led to a mind that is a mess of half-developed solutions and new structures built on top of Another study showed how being in a room with items associated with intelligence lead to people performing better in tasks.

Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind

View all 5 comments. Perhaps more interesting, Marcus states that we rarely forget the things we want to forget and rarely remember the things we want to remember. One Giant Kluge Marcus argues humans are really one giant Kluge.

There are three layers to the brain and each developed at a different period of human evolution. He recommends pretending that you are going to have to justify your decision after making it as a good way to make better decisions. Has stood up well to the test of time. Niente a che vedere con un progetto o una direzione, l’evoluzione ha usato strutture pre-esistenti per adattarsi.

This means that human brains carry the traces of our ancestry, such as eyes that are wired inside out meaning that light entering the eye has evoljtion pass through a layer of nerve cells before it meets the retinaand seemingly redundant “lower” brain structures whose functions, important in the lives of reptiles, have now been taken over by our massively overdeveloped cerebral cortex.