Open for discussion and exchange of views.
Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human MindGary Marcus,
Houghtin Mifflin, 2008
to be released in paperback later this spring 2009
Kluge = klooj [rhymes w stooge] n slang A clumsy or inelegant solution to a problem.
I enjoyed reading this book, easy going and entertaining even if it is about brain science and biology. Gary Marcus, Prof of Psychology at NYU, gives memorable examples that will help anyone with self-examination of behaviors.
http://www.amazon.com/Kluge-Haphazard-C ... 843&sr=8-1
"From Publishers Weekly
Why are we subject to irrational beliefs, inaccurate memories, even war? We can thank evolution, Marcus says, which can only tinker with structures that already exist, rather than create new ones: Natural selection... tends to favor genes that have immediate advantages rather than long-term value. Marcus (The Birth of the Mind), director of NYU's Infant Language Learning Center, refers to this as kluge, a term engineers use to refer to a clumsily designed solution to a problem. Thus, memory developed in our prehominid ancestry to respond with immediacy, rather than accuracy; one result is erroneous eyewitness testimony in courtrooms. In describing the results of studies of human perception, cognition and beliefs, Marcus encapsulates how the mind is contaminated by emotions, moods, desires, goals, and simple self-interest.... The mind's fragility, he says, is demonstrated by mental illness, which seems to have no adaptive purpose. In a concluding chapter, Marcus offers a baker's dozen of suggestions for getting around the brain's flaws and achieving true wisdom. While some are self-evident, others could be helpful, such as Whenever possible, consider alternate hypotheses and Don't just set goals. Make contingency plans. Using evolutionary psychology, Marcus educates the reader about mental flaws in a succinct, often enjoyable way. (Apr. 16)
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