Episode 38

#38 How to Become a Good Bayesian (& Rap Artist), with Baba Brinkman

Episode sponsored by Tidelift: tidelift.com

Imagine me rapping: "Let me show you how to be a good Bayesian. Change your predictions after taking information in, and if you’re thinking I’ll be less than amazing, let’s adjust those expectations!"

What?? Nah, you’re right, I’m not as good as Baba Brinkman. Actually, the best to perform « Good Bayesian » live on the podcast would just be to invite him for an episode… Wait, isn’t that what I did???

Well indeed! For this episode, I had the great pleasure of hosting rap artist, science communicator and revered author of « Good Bayesian », Baba Brinkman!

We talked about his passion for oral poetry, his rap career, what being a good rapper means and the difficulties he encounters to establish himself as a proper rapper.

Baba began his rap career in 1998, freestyling and writing songs in his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

In 2000 he started adapting Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales into original rap compositions, and in 2004 he premiered a one man show based on his Master’s thesis, The Rap Canterbury Tales, exploring parallels between hip-hop music and medieval poetry.

Over the years, Baba went on to create “Rap Guides” dedicated to scientific topics, like evolution, consciousness, medicine, religion, and climate change – and I encourage you to give them all a listen!

By the way, do you know the common point between rap and evolutionary biology? Well, you’ll have to tune in for the answer… And make sure you listen until the end: Baba has a very, very nice surprise for you!

A little tip: if you wanna enjoy it to the fullest, I put the unedited video version of this interview in the show notes ;) By the way, let me know if you like these video live streams — I might just do them again if you do!

Our theme music is « Good Bayesian », by Baba Brinkman (feat MC Lars and Mega Ran). Check out his awesome work at https://bababrinkman.com/ !

Thank you to my Patrons for making this episode possible!

Yusuke Saito, Avi Bryant, Ero Carrera, Brian Huey, Giuliano Cruz, Tim Gasser, James Wade, Tradd Salvo, Adam Bartonicek, William Benton, Alan O'Donnell, Mark Ormsby, Demetri Pananos, James Ahloy, Jon Berezowski, Robin Taylor, Thomas Wiecki, Chad Scherrer, Vincent Arel-Bundock, Nathaniel Neitzke, Zwelithini Tunyiswa, Elea McDonnell Feit, Bertrand Wilden, James Thompson, Stephen Oates, Gian Luca Di Tanna, Jack Wells, Matthew Maldonado, Ian Costley, Ally Salim, Larry Gill, Joshua Duncan, Ian Moran, Paul Oreto, Colin Caprani, George Ho, Colin Carroll, Nathaniel Burbank, Michael Osthege, Rémi Louf, Clive Edelsten, Henri Wallen, Jonathan Sedar, Hugo Botha, Vinh Nguyen, Raul Maldonado, Marcin Elantkowski and Tim Radtke.

Visit https://www.patreon.com/learnbayesstats to unlock exclusive Bayesian swag ;)

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About the Podcast

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Learning Bayesian Statistics
A podcast on Bayesian inference - the methods, the projects and the people who make it possible!

About your host

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Alexandre Andorra

Hi! I'm your host, Alex Andorra. By day, I'm a Bayesian modeler at the PyMC Labs consultancy. By night, I don't (yet) fight crime, but I'm an open-source enthusiast and core contributor to the awesome Python packages PyMC and ArviZ.

An always-learning statistician, I love building models and studying elections and human behavior. I also love Nutella a bit too much, but I don't like talking about it – I prefer eating it.

My goal is to make this podcast as interesting and useful to you as possible. So, hit me on Twitter or email with your questions and suggestions!