Just about every human being knows how to listen to music, but what does it take to make music? Is musicality something we are born with? Or a skill that anyone can develop at any time? If you don't start piano at the age of six, is there any hope? Is skill learning best left to children or can anyone reinvent him-or herself at any time?
For anyone who has ever set out to play a musical instrument--or wished that they could--Guitar Zero is an inspiring and fascinating look at the pursuit of music, the mechanics of the mind, and the surprising rewards that come from following ones dreams. Gary Marcus, whom Steven Pinker describes as one of the deepest thinkers in cognitive science, debunks the popular theory that there is an innate musical instinct while challenging the idea that talent is only a myth. From deliberate and efficient practicing techniques to finding the right music teacher, Marcus translates his own experience--as well as reflections from world-renowned musicians--into practical advice for anyone hoping to become musical or learn any new skill.
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.
In The Birth of the Mind, award-winning cognitive scientist Gary Marcus irrevocably alters the nature vs. nurture debate by linking the findings of the Human Genome Project to the development of the brain. Scientists have long struggled to understand how a tiny number of genes could contain the instructions for building the human brain, arguably the most complex device in the known universe. Synthesizing up-to-the-minute research with his own original findings on child development, Marcus is the first to resolve this apparent contradiction. Vibrantly written and completely accessible to the lay reader, The Birth of the Mind will forever change the way we think about our origins and ourselves.