Sunday, June 15, 2008

Clumsy Brain

Gary Marcus in an interview with New Scientist would have us tinker our clumsy brains a bit to get more bang for the buck. He cites the memory as one example of such clumsiness

I think the clumsiest thing is human memory. We pull things out of our memory using context, or clues, that hint at what we're looking for. But it could pretty easily have been organised like computer memory, which would have been much more systematic, much more reliable.

I don't know about design perfection or optimization but am very grateful for the clumsiness that makes it easy to forget so much both the good and the bad. What a terrible fate it would be able to recall events with equal clarity irrespective of what point in time they occurred.

It is also nice that "lot of our thinking gets contaminated because our memories aren't very systematic". Maybe its best for the brain to be left just so, so we could still remain "human"

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