[Added June 2008]
Gary Marcus book :Kluge The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind has a captivating description of human memory as a kludge produced by random evolution. This explains why our memory has so many faults. It explains less why it is so good.
If computer memory is the goal of a perfect evolution then why autistic people
that have almost computerlike memory are so unfit to social life?
But this doesn’t mean that memory isn’t a kludge , it is a wonderful kludge
but we know still very little about it. If we knew better we would try to exploit this kludginess to our benefit. The most deceiving part of Marcus Gary’s book
is the list of advices to help us cope with our mind kludge.
I am a programmer and I live of kludges. Most of the programs to which I
contribute are full of kludges. And I know that the best way to profit from
a kludge is with a cleverer kludge. These are missing in Gary Marcus book
probably because right now we don’t know enough well the divine hack (this is how we programmer call the ultimate kludge) that is behind our mind.