Some phrases in The Map that... Confuse me- help please, to make my review of it better!

by William Gasarch1 min read16th Aug 20212 comments


Personal Blog

I recently read

A Map that Reflect the Territory: Essays by the Less Wrong Community

I will be posting a review of it on the lesswrong site soon.

But I want to improve it first and need your help!

There were some words or phrases that were used that either confused me
or I could not find a definition on the web anywhere! So please clarify if you can.

In the article

What Motivated Rescuers During the Holocaust?  by Martin Sustrik,

is the following:

As I already said, I am not an expert on the topic, but if what we see
here is not an instance of the bystander effect, I'll eat my hat.

He is referring to that people who begin helping one Jew escape the Nazi's
end up helping more.

The phrase Bystander Effect is on the web! A lot!
It seems to be that

the more people that are bystanders who could prevent something bad from
happenings the less likely someone really will.

This seems different from how its used in the essay.
(Side note- I couldn't seem to find this essay on the less wrong website.)

Yed graphs.
In the article

What Makes People Intellectually Active? by Abram Demski

is the following:

I might write one day on topics that interest me, and have sprawling Yed graphs
in which I'm trying to make sense of confusing and conflicting evidence.

What are Yed Graphs?

In the article

What Makes People Intellectually Active? by Abram Demski

is the following:

Its like the only rationality technique is TAPs, and you only set up taps of the form
``resemblance to rationality concept'' IMPLIES  ``think of rationality concept''.

What is TAP?

2 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 1:58 AM
New Comment

Since I have not read the first one, I could only speculate that the people who end up helping realize that nobody else is going to do anything to help, which breaks them out of the effect and they end up helping more.

yEd graphs:

TAPs (Trigger Action Plans):

The essay What Motivated Rescuers During the Holocaust is on Lesswrong under the title Research: Rescuers during the Holocaust - it was renamed because all of the essay titles in Curiosity are questions, which I just noticed now and is cute. I found it via the URL, which is listed in the back of the book.

The bystander effect is an explanation of the whole story:

  • Because of the bystander effect, most people weren't rescuers during the Holocaust, even though that was obviously the morally correct thing to do; they were in a large group of people who could have intervened but didn't.
  • The standard way to break the bystander effect is by pointing out a single individual in the crowd to intervene, which is effectively what happened to the people who became rescuers by circumstances that forced them into action.