Kludge: The Science?

My blog’s tag line is “The Future will be kludged”. Life is full of good kludges and bad kludges.

Here is an academic take on it:

Is there reason to believe that our brains have evolved to make efficient decisions so that the details of the internal process by which these decisions get made are irrelevant? Or can we understand the persistence of behavioral anomalies as the consequence of specific imperfections in the decision-making circuitry that remain despite evolutionary pressure? I develop a formal model which illustrates a fundamental limitation of adaptive processes: improvements tend to come in the form of kludges. A kludge is a marginal adaptation that compensates for, but does not eliminate fundamental design inefficiencies. When kludges accumulate the result can be perpetually suboptimal behavior. This is true even in a model of evolution in which arbitrarily large innovations occur infinitely often with probability 1. This has implications for traditional defenses of both positive and normative methodology and provides a foundation for behavioral theories built on the methodology of constrained optimal design.

The whole paper is here.

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