Bayesian monasteries

From: Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Date: Sat Jun 12 2004 - 16:08:46 MDT

Marc Geddes wrote:

> Just kidding.
> A week of calm flowing through me made me think of the
> idea of 'Bayesian meditation workshops'. I'm thinking
> week long workshops which could be a combination of
> yogic exercises, zen contemplation, meditation,
> philosophy and of course Bayesian mathematics ;) The
> idea is to combine spirituality and mathematics.
> Sounds a bizarre silly combination at first I know,
> but if you think it through carefully and consider
> that Bayes is actually the secret to the universe it
> actually makes perfect sense. There's already an Orkut
> community called the 'Bayesian Illumuni'. Bayesian
> meditation workshops and retreats could become very
> popular, especially after the Singularity. Adepts
> could spend hundreds of years in peaceful settings
> simply contemplating the deeper meanings of Bayes
> Theorem.

I'd just like to note for the record that I thought of Bayesian monasteries
too. Except that I called them "Beisutsukai monasteries."

It wouldn't be Bayes' Theorem, though, it would be all of probability
theory, and its applications to human thinking. Cuz, hey, it's just one
theorem. These days I would say, following Jaynes, that probability theory
is a secret of the universe, not Bayes' Theorem as such.

(*) Beisutsukai: Lit. "Bayes-user". An English translation might be

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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