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Grok (IPA /gɹɑk/ (GA) or /gɹɒk/ (RP), both rhyming with rock) is a verb that connotes an internalized way of knowing -- knowledge greater than that which can be sensed by an outside observer. It is an understanding beyond empathy and intimacy. In grokking, one experiences the literal capabilities and frame of reference of the subject. The verb can be used both transitively and intransitively; in the transitive sense the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "to understand intuitively or by empathy; to establish rapport with", while in the intransitive sense it is defined as "to empathize or communicate sympathetically with; also, to experience enjoyment." The OED also lists the alternate spelling "grock". Grok could refer to one of the following: Grok, a word invented by Robert Heinlein in his novel Stranger in a Strange Land GROK, a game based on nonviolent communication Groklaw, a law blog Grokster, a defunct p2p service Grokker, a search engine Grok Magazine, an Australian student magazine Berkeley... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Look up understanding in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Not to be confused with Pity, Sympathy, or Compassion. ... Definition Intimacy is complex in that its meaning varies from relationship to relationship, and within a given relationship over time. ... More traditional systems for analysing language divided linguistic expressions into two classes: literal and figurative. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... In grammar, a verb is transitive if it takes an object. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of...

Robert A. Heinlein originally coined the term as part of a fictional Martian language in his 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land, where it literally means "drink" and figuratively refers to the merging of essence that encompasses the theme of the book. The term has become part of the English language, attested in dictionaries and used mostly by certain counterculture groups and in hacker culture. Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of hard science fiction. ... A neologism (Greek νεολογισμός [neologismos], from νέος [neos] new + λόγος [logos] word, speech, discourse + suffix -ισμός [-ismos] -ism) is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created (coined) — often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. ... A Martian is a hypothetical or fictional native inhabitant of the planet Mars. ... Stranger in a Strange Land is a best-selling 1961 Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... In sociology, counterculture is a term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. ... Hacker, as it relates to computers, has several common meanings. ...


Pronunciation and part of speech

According to the Heinlein book, Martian words are "guttural" and "jarring." Martian speech is described as sounding "like a bullfrog fighting a cat." Accordingly, grok is generally pronounced as a guttural "gr" terminated by a sharp "k" with very little or no vowel sound (a narrow IPA transcription might be [ɡɹ̩kʰ]). Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of hard science fiction. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ...

Both transitive and intransitive uses exist, but the latter is rare. Other forms of the word include "groks" (present third person singular), "grokked" (past participle) and "grokking" (present participle). In grammar, a verb is transitive if it takes an object. ... In grammar, an intransitive verb is an action verb that takes no object. ... Grammatical person, in linguistics, is deictic reference to the participant role of a referent, such as the speaker, the addressee, and others. ... In linguistics, a participle is a non-finite verb form that can be used in compound tenses or voices, or it can be used as a modifier. ...

In Stranger in a Strange Land

The protagonist never tries to verbalize a full definition of grok, but demonstrates various instances and effects throughout the novel. A secondary, human character in the book defines the term as: A protagonist is the main figure of a piece of literature or drama and has the main part or role. ...

Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because we are from Earth) as color means to a blind man.

The literal meaning of the word grok is "drink", an important focus for a desert planet where water is scarce. Philosophically, the Martians extended its meaning to absorption and blending, where the water becomes a part of you, and you part of the water. Things that once had separate realities become entangled in the same experiences, goals, history and purpose. Within the book, the statement of divine immanence verbalized between the main characters, "Thou Art God", is said to be derived from grok. Also, used in the mid 1980s to refer to communication between computer users. (reference "Silver Spoons" episode 67) For other uses, see Divinity (disambiguation) and Divine (disambiguation). ... Immanence, derived from the Latin in manere to remain within, refers to philosophical and metaphysical theories of the divine as existing and acting within the mind or the world. ... Thou Art God/Goddess: A statement of divine immanence popular among Neopagans, originally from Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi book, Stranger in a Strange Land. ...

In counterculture

Tom Wolfe, in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, describes a character's thoughts during an acid trip: "He looks down, two bare legs, a torso rising up at him and like he is just noticing them for the first time... he has never seen any of this flesh before, this stranger. He groks over that...." Thomas Kennerly Wolfe (born March 2, 1931 in Richmond, Virginia), known as Tom Wolfe, is a best-selling American author and journalist. ... The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a literary journalism novel written by Tom Wolfe early in his career in 1968. ... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ...

Contemporary spiritual teacher Ram Dass, in Be Here Now, quotes a large passage from Stranger about the word. Ram Dass teaching, Hawaii Dr. Richard Alpert (born April 5, 1931), also known as Baba Ram Dass, is a contemporary spiritual teacher and noted bisexual. ...

Numerous examples of its use in the late 1960s appear, including in Playboy Magazine, and The New Yorker. Playboy is an adult entertainment magazine, or pornography magazine, founded in 1953 by Hugh Hefner, which has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc. ... The New Yorker is an American magazine that publishes reportage, criticism, essays, cartoons, poetry and fiction. ...

The word is also used in passing in The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, and frequently by Wilson in his other work. 23 The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. ... Robert Anton Wilson Robert Anton Wilson or RAW (January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007) was a prolific American novelist, essayist, philosopher, psychologist, futurologist, anarchist, and conspiracy theory researcher. ... Robert Joseph Shea (1933 - March 10, 1994) was the co-author (with Robert Anton Wilson) of The Illuminatus! Trilogy. ...

According to Ed Sanders' book The Family, convicted murderer Charles Manson was a fan of Heinlein and Stranger and adopted many of the terms associated with both including "grok" and "thou art God".[1] Charles Milles Manson (born November 12, 1934) is a convicted American criminal who was the leader of what came to be known as the Manson Family, a cult that began to form around him in the U.S. city of San Francisco in 1967. ...

In science fiction

A popular t-shirt and bumper sticker slogan for Trekkies, seen as early as 1968, was I grok Spock (often showing the Star Trek character using the Vulcan salute). Other science fiction authors, such as David Brin or Greg Cox, have borrowed the term over the years as a homage. T-Shirt A T-shirt (or tee shirt) is a shirt with short or long sleeves, a round neck, put on over the head, without pockets. ... Bumper stickers are often used on commercial vehicles so that employers can receive feedback about the driving habits of their employees A bumper sticker is an adhesive label or sticker with a message, intended to be attached to the bumper of an automobile and to be read by the occupants... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Spock, commonly called Mr. ... The current Star Trek franchise logo Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment series and media franchise. ... Blessing gesture that was the inspiration for the Vulcan salute. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Glen David Brin, Ph. ... Greg Cox is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous Star Trek novels, including The Eugenics Wars, (Volume One and Two), The Q Continuum, Assignment: Eternity, and The Black Shore. ... For a description of the medieval homage ceremony see commendation ceremony Homage is generally used in modern English to mean any public show of respect to someone to whom you feel indebted. ...

In hacker culture

Uses of the word in the decades after the 1960s are more concentrated in computer culture, such as a 1984 appearance in InfoWorld: "There isn't any software! Only different internal states of hardware. It's all hardware! It's a shame programmers don't grok that better." This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... InfoWorld is an information technology online media and events business operating under the umbrella of InfoWorld Media Group, a division of IDG (International Data Group). ...

The Jargon File, which describes itself as a "Hacker's Dictionary" and has thrice been published under that name, puts grok in a programming context: The Jargon File is a glossary of hacker slang. ...

When you claim to ‘grok’ some knowledge or technique, you are asserting that you have not merely learned it in a detached instrumental way but that it has become part of you, part of your identity. For example, to say that you “know” LISP is simply to assert that you can code in it if necessary — but to say you “grok” LISP is to claim that you have deeply entered the world-view and spirit of the language, with the implication that it has transformed your view of programming. Contrast zen, which is a similar supernal understanding experienced as a single brief flash.

The entry existed in the very earliest forms of the Jargon File, dating from the early 1980s. A typical tech usage from the Linux Bible, 2005 characterizes the Unix software development philosophy as "one that can make your life a lot simpler once you grok the idea". For the programming language, see Lisp (programming language). ... Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism notable for its emphasis on practice and experiential wisdom—particularly as realized in the form of meditation known as zazen—in the attainment of awakening. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... Software development is the translation of a user need or marketing goal into a software product. ...

Mainstream usage

In their book The Fourth Turning, William Strauss and Neil Howe write of 1996 Presidential candidate Bob Dole as "not a person who could grok values in the now-dominant Boomer tongue". Strauss and Howe (William Strauss and Neil Howe) are bestselling authors and national speakers based on their proprietary model of generations in American history. ... Presidential electoral votes. ... § Robert Joseph Dole (born July 22, 1923) was a United States Senator from Kansas from 1969-1996, serving part of that time as United States Senate Majority Leader. ... The term boomer may refer to: // Demographic An abbreviation for baby boomer A mostly archaic American term for workers who travel from location to location, following jobs as they become available, especially in the construction, electric power, petroleum, and railroad industries. ...

Groklaw is a website with information on legal matters, usually of an IT nature.

Grok is a web application framework, written in the Python programming language and based on Zope 3. In software engineering, a web application is an application delivered to users from a web server over a network such as the World Wide Web or an intranet. ... Python is an interpreted, interactive programming language created by Guido van Rossum in 1990, originally as a scripting language for Amoeba OS capable of making system calls. ... Zope 3 is an emergent version of the popular Zope web application server. ...

In a 1987 Life In Hell strip titled "What I Learned In School", a character representing creator Matt Groening is depicted being dressed down by an unseen "hip" college professor: "Mr. Gru-nink, I'm getting bad vibes from you. The rest of the class groks what is going on -- why can't you?" Life in Hell is a weekly comic strip by Matt Groening. ... Matthew Abram Groening (born February 15, 1954[2] in Portland, Oregon;[1] his family name is pronounced ) is an Emmy Award-winning American cartoonist and the creator of The Simpsons, Futurama and the weekly comic strip Life in Hell. ... College (Latin collegium) is a term most often used today to denote an educational institution. ... The meaning of the word professor (Latin: one who claims publicly to be an expert) varies. ...

Songwriter Stephin Merritt uses the word "grok" in the song "Swinging London", from the 1994 Magnetic Fields album "Holiday" - "you couldn't grok my racecar but you dug the roadside blur"

See also

Look up Grok in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... The Church of All Worlds (CAW) is a religious group whose stated mission is to evolve a network of information, mythology, and experience that provides a context and stimulus for re-awakening Gaia, and re_uniting her children through tribal community dedicated to responsible stewardship and evolving consciousness. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Grock (January 10, 1880, Reconvilier, Switzerland - July 14, 1959, Imperia, Italy), original name Karl (Charles) Adrien Wettach, was a Swiss circus clown whose blunders with the piano and the violin became proverbial. ... Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as one of Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ...


  1. ^ Ed Sanders (2002). The Family. Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN ISBN 1-56025-396-7. 

External links

  Results from FactBites:
The Grok Homepage (88 words)
NB: Grok is in the process of being reorganized into separately usable (and separately developed) OpenNLP components.
Grok is an open source natural language processing library written in Java.
It is part of the OpenNLP project, and provides implementations for most of the interfaces defined in the opennlp.common package.
Rhizome | GROK: A Youth Educational Initiative (207 words)
GROK's aim is to illuminate the ways artists make use of new technologies, and to encourage youth to become active interpreters and producers in a digital world.
GROK is available free with Rhizome Membership: one copy per individual, and more for our organizational subscribers depending on the size of their institution.
GROK was produced, in part, thanks to generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tin Man Fund, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Verizon Foundation and Rhizome Members whose support benefits all.
  More results at FactBites »



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