Episode 70

#70 - ... and Bayes Bites Back (w/ Richard Meadows)


July 9th, 2024

1 hr 30 mins 34 secs

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About this Episode

Sick of hearing us shouting about Bayesianism? Well today you're in luck, because this time, someone shouts at us about Bayesianism! Richard Meadows, finance journalist, author, and Ben's secretive podcast paramour, takes us to task. Are we being unfair to the Bayesians? Is Bayesian rationality optimal in theory, and the rest of us are just coping with an uncertain world? Is this why the Bayesian rationalists have so much cultural influence (and money, and fame, and media attention, and ...), and we, ahem, uhhh, don't?

Check out Rich's website, his book Optionality: How to Survive and Thrive in a Volatile World, and his podcast.

We discuss

  • The pros of the rationality and EA communities
  • Whether Bayesian epistemology contributes to open-mindedness
  • The fact that evidence doesn't speak for itself
  • The fact that the world doesn't come bundled as discrete chunks of evidence
  • Whether Bayesian epistemology would be "optimal" for Laplace's demon
  • The difference between truth and certainty
  • Vaden's tone issues and why he gets animated about this subject.



  • Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani
  • Follow Rich at @MeadowsRichard
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What's your favorite theory that is neither true nor useful? Tell us over at incrementspodcast@gmail.com.

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