Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"By the time I can take people out to where Hubble is looking, they won't be human anymore, by a long way."
- Larry Niven

Grok  
  To understand fully; become one with (from the Martial verb "to drink").  

"Mike, who made the world?"

"Beg pardon?"

"Look around you. All this. Mars, too. The stars. Everything. You and me and everybody. Did the Old Ones tell you who made it?"

Mike looked puzzled. "No, Jubal."

"Well, you have wondered about it, haven't you? Where did this all come from? Who put the stars in the sky? Who started it all? All of it, everything, the whole world, the Universe - . so that you and I are I talking." Jubal paused, surprised at himself. He had intended to take the usual agnostic approach . . . and found himself compulsively following his legal training, being an honest advocate in spite of himself, attempting to support a religious belief he did not hold but which was believed most human beings. He found that, willy-nilly, he was attorney for the orthodoxies of his own race against-he wasn't sure what. An unhuman viewpoint. "How do your Old Ones answer such questions?"

"Jubal, I do not grok ... that these are questions. I am sorry."

"Eh? I don't grok your answer."

Mike hesitated a long time. "I will try. But words are ... are not rightly. Not 'putting.' Not 'mading.' A nowing. World is. World was. World shall be. Now."

"'As it was in the beginning, so it now and ever shall be, World without end-'"

Mike smiled happily. "You grok it!"

"I don't grok it," Jubal answered gruffly...

Technovelgy from Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Putnam in 1961
Additional resources -

Here is more context from the book:

“Take this word: ‘grok.’ Its literal meaning, one which I suspect goes back to the origin of the Martian race as thinking creatures—and which throws light on their whole ‘map’—is easy. ‘Grok’ means ‘to drink.’”

“Huh?” said Jubal. “Mike never says ‘grok’ when he’s just talking about drinking. He—”

“Just a moment.” Mahmoud spoke to Mike in Martian.

Mike looked faintly surprised. “‘Grok’ is drink.”

“But Mike would have agreed,” Mahmoud went on, “if I had named a hundred other English words, words which we think of as different concepts, even antithetical concepts. ‘Grok’ means all of these. It means ‘fear,’ it means ‘love,’ it means ‘hate’—proper hate, for by the Martian ‘map’ you cannot hate anything unless you grok it, understand it so thoroughly that you merge with it and it merges with you—then you can hate. By hating yourself. But this implies that you love it, too, and cherish it and would not have it otherwise. Then you can hate—and (I think) Martian hate is an emotion so black that the nearest human equivalent could only be called mild distaste.”

“‘Grok’ means ‘identically equal.’ The human cliché ‘This hurts me worse than it does you’ has a distinctly Martian flavor. The Martian seems to know instinctively what we learned painfully from modern physics, that observer interacts with observed through the process of observation. ‘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 as color does to a blind man.” Mahmoud paused. “Jubal, if I chopped you up and made a stew, you and the stew, whatever was in it, would grok—and when I ate you, we would grok together and nothing would be lost and it would not matter which one of us did the eating.”

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Stranger in a Strange Land
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Stranger in a Strange Land
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Articles related to Culture
Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
Gaia - Why Stop With Just The Earth?
Splendid View Of Eclipse From Orbit Visualized And Repurposed By Arthur C. Clarke
SensorWake Scent-Based Alarm Clock

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.