« Abruzzo PolpettineOh The Pain One DirecTiVo Down »

Grok

02/08/07 | by JAdP | Categories: Blogging

I read through a lot of blogs in a given day, racing through RSSOwl, my feed reader of preference. Some I read to find a good item for our OSBI (Open Source Business Intelligence) Daily. Some to keep abreast of what's happening to enable the TeleInterActive Lifestyle. And some for personal edification.

I was amazed today as to how often I came across someone using the word "grok". I've been happily seeing more adoption of this word, but today it seemed nearly every blog, article or news item I read had the word "grok" at least once.

It was always used correctly: "to fully and deeply understand"; but I can't help but wonder how many of the authors using "grok" grokked the word's origins. It's Martian and not from any Terran language at all. It comes from the fertile mind of Robert A. Heinlein, and was brought to Earth by Valentine Michael Smith in Heinlein's wonderful 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land.

The word "grok" is only poorly understood by us earthbound folk, as it is deeply related to the Martian religious practice of eating their dead while overseen by the spirit of the newly departed. Here's the best explanation I can find in the novel.

"... a Martian dies when he decides to die, having discussed it with and advised by his friends and having received the consent of his ancestors' ghosts to join them... One second he is alive and well, the next second he's a ghost with a dead body left over... his closest friends eat what he no longer has any use for, 'grokking' him, as Mike would say, and praising his virtues as they spread the mustard. The new ghost attends the feast himself... by which [ceremony] the ghost attains the status of 'Old One'..."end quotation
-- Jubal explaining to Duke, chapter xiii, in Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

Here's some of the places I've enountered "grok" today.

And more, for a total of 23 different blog posts. I do hope they remembered the mustard, and used a good quality one like Sierra Nevada stout & stone ground. &#59;)

Send feedback »
 

No feedback yet

April 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          
 << <   > >>

I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

View Joseph di Paolantonio's profile on LinkedIn

37.652951177164 -122.490877706959

Search

  XML Feeds

CMS