RE: virus: Does the term "grok" means anything to you?

Lior Golgher (
Sun, 20 Oct 1996 22:22:05 -0700

Vicki Rosenzweig wrote:
> I am familiar with term "grok," and have read the Heinlein novel, and I don't think using it would clarify
> anything. The word is too vague, I think deliberately so. It also, at this point, has definite
> hippie/counter-culture connotations that might be misleading.
> In particular, I think of it as signifying an understanding that can't be expressed in words; using it to
> promote a rationalist agenda would only confuse people, I think.

> On the other hand, I could be wrong. Lior, if you could give some examples of the concepts you hope it will
> clarify, and maybe a rough sketch of what "grok" means to you, it might help here.

Well, I think this recent note of mine could examplify it:
> The answer is within the question, isn't it? Different minds precieve, treat and propagate memes differently
> BECAUSE they're different. Have you any deeper point? Please explain it then.

Grok is much better than precieve in this case. You're right - grok is a wide concept and may lead to
misunderstandings, generalizations, even newspeak. On the other hand, and quite to the opposite, using grok can
clarify and focus our points down to a better thinking environment. On the same extent, the concept of "meme"
is much wider than just "thought", "idea", "concept", "convention", "term", etc. and yet it enables us to grok
and discuss the different mechanisms of infection-replication\mutation-propagation more clearly than with each
of those concepts.
I'd use "grok" for a while and we'll see if it works.
Any other terms we should adopt?