Re: Intelligence, Aesthetics and Bayesianism: Game over!

From: John Mikes <>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 10:38:45 -0400


do we have a definition that satisfies *general* considerations? I doubt,
because I cannot find one that applies to different ethnic, cultural (- even
within one), at different times even if considered only in HUMAN beings. the
'scientific' terms are applying to (dis?)liking and beauty, which is in the
eye of the (actual) beholder.
Could Bruno imagine to define it in numbers? (excuse me please the humor).
The closest I can think of is a lack of disturbing (imbalanced? stressful?)
effects - a negative.
Contemporaries often do not find contemporary art asthetic because it
expresses in its (art-) language the troubles of the age-frame. Once another
era enters, the 'unaesthetic' artwork is deemed aesthetic. (cf Beethoven's
nusic, abstract painting, lots of lit etc.).
<as I explained earlier on this list and others, I am on 'common sense'

John M

On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 9:26 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <>wrote:

> 2008/7/30 <>:
> >> I've long been puzzled by the phenomenon of delusion in intelligent,
> >> rational people who develop psychotic illness. For example, out of the
> >> blue, someone starts to believe that their family have been replaced
> >> by impostors. Their facility with deductive logic remains intact, and
> >> it is tempting to try to argue with them to show that their belief is
> >> false, but it doesn't work. The Bayes equation is:
> >>
> >> Pr(A|B) = Pr(B|A).Pr(A)/Pr(B)
> >> A = they are impostors
> >> B = they're acting weird
> >>
> >> The problem is that they overestimate Pr(A), the prior probability,
> >> and underestimate Pr(B). A very dull, but sane, person can see this,
> >> but they can't. Intelligence doesn't seem to help at all.
> >>
> >> --
> >> Stathis Papaioannou-
> >
> > Um. I'm not totally sure what relevance this has to what I posted.
> >
> > Popper showed that an infinite number of theories is compatible is any
> > given set of finite observations. Mere algorithmic shuffling to
> > calculate Pr(B) probablities according to the Bayes formula won't help
> > much. Successful induction needs principles to set the priors are set
> > correctly.
> Yes, I was partially agreeing with you. Psychotic people often still
> manage very well with deductive reasoning, but they get the big
> picture wrong, obviously and ridiculously wrong. So there must be more
> to discovering truth about the world than mere algorithmic shuffling.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou
> >

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Received on Thu Jul 31 2008 - 11:25:32 PDT

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