Grokking and being Grokked

meIn Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, the alien word grok means to understand something so thoroughly that it becomes part of you. All lifeforms grok their environments via messages encoded onto energy. Some energies are visual, some auditory, some molecular and so on. The never ending local incarnation of the Computation assembles a universe from the data available.

I am meeting someone somewhere else on the Internet. How bizarre, that you should need to ask where you are as well as who you are. The point is that initially, like a blind person, all we know about this person is the data we exchange with them. At first it is the attitude and the sophistication that we grok. If we hear someone pleasant and interesting enough, we can contact them for private discussions.

Now it is up to luck. There is a lot a human can do for another through communication, but the other has to allow grokking to happen. Once I invite discussions I run the risk of rejection.  Once a private discussion begins the question becomes where to take it and where to go with it.

– MRK

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