Kluge by Gary Marcus
The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind

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Synopsis

How is it that we can recognize photos from our high school yearbook decades later, but cannot remember what we ate for breakfast yesterday? And why are we inclined to buy more cans of soup if the sign says "LIMIT 12 PER CUSTOMER" rather than "LIMIT 4 PER CUSTOMER?" In Kluge, Gary Marcus argues convincingly that our minds are not as elegantly designed as we may believe. The imperfections result from a haphazard evolutionary process that often proceeds by piling new systems on top of old ones—and those systems don’t always work well together. The end product is a "kluge," a clumsy, cobbled-together contraption. Taking us on a tour of the essential areas of human experience—memory, belief, decision making, language, and happiness—Marcus unveils a fundamentally new way of looking at the evolution of the human mind and simultaneously sheds light on some of the most mysterious aspects of human nature.

 

About Gary Marcus

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GARY MARCUS studies evolution, language, and cognitive development at New York University, where he is a professor of psychology and the director of the NYU Center for Child Language. The editor of the Norton Psychology Reader and author of three books about the origins and development of mind and brain, Marcus has written articles for The New York Times, Wired, Discover, and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on radio and television programs around the globe.
 
Published April 7, 2009 by Mariner Books. 225 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Kluge

Monsters and Critics

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.

Jul 25 2008 | Read Full Review of Kluge: The Haphazard Evolutio...

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