Is using "Grok" as verbal shorthand useful?
Regarding the usage of "Grok", commenters Alex, AllTooHuman and Louisa make some excellent points here.
Can we all make an effort to leave the whole Grok bullshit off of this website and on Sisson's forum where it belongs? I am not knocking Mark at all, I just find the whole Grok thing very grating - it is romantic primitivism of the worst kind and frankly pretty stupid. ...
AllTooHuman cogently responds:
I have to admit that having come to this site from PaNu (and not knowing anything about Sisson) the whole Grok thing still throws me for a bit of a loop. I'm more interested in what the human metabolism seems built to do than any form or primal, tribal re-enactment. I think I've come to understand the Grok thing as a bit of a metaphor, and while it does strike a more romantic and less than scientific tone in my ear as well, I just accept it for what it is: a bit of verbal shorthand as a means to an end.
And Louisa points out:
and there are definitely some people around today who are totally into paleo re-enactment, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
@Alex -- I am not a huge fan of the "Grok" thing either, however, as AllTooHuman points out, it is simple, catchy verbal shorthand.
So what do you think?
"Grok" is simply, useful and catchy verbal shorthand for all things Paleo? Or asking WWGD encourages gratuitous and meaningless paleo reenactment?
Given my response and the current quote in the header, "Metabolism first, history second." as well as my inclination to make Paleo a bigger tent, you can see where I stand.
Aw lighten up- to me it is a tongue in cheek short way to describe the paleo way of eating and living in a back to the basics kind of way.
It doesn't even bother me that Grok is probably a guy and there is no equivalent term for a girl grok.
To me, the Primal Blueprint, Grok, etc. represent Paleo Light -- a watered down version for the sake of broader appeal.
I come from a science/technology/engineering background as I'd guess many others here do and, as such, I'm comfortable with the nitty gritty science. The Grok stuff can get a little grating at times and I'm personally more comfortable arguing about the specifics of some study than arguing about what Grok would've done.
However, not everyone comes from such a background and stuff like Grok is a great way of conveying the principles in a very straightforward and memorable manner (though I've always liked "naked with a sharp stick" from NeanderThin for those conversations). The elevator pitch is useful for spreading ideas and Grok can be part of a great elevator pitch, particularly when you're talking to a family member, old high school buddy, etc. who isn't at home with the chemistry, math, etc. required to get this stuff at the low level.
It's your site, Patrik, but I like the "big tent" approach. Mark's blog is immensely popular and I suspect we'll be seeing people coming here who learned about the whole Paleo thing through his blog and who are used to the Grok concept. I don't see value in taking an elitest approach and shunning them because of that.
As a side note, I doubt that anyone really gets confused by the Grok analogy. The people who retort with the "so where's your loincloth?" comments are being intentionally daft and are going to have a similar response no matter how you frame the concept.
I think the term Grok is confusing and misleading.
The driving force behind dietary choices should be using science to support the metabolic environment that we evolved under--which happened during the Paleolithic era. It's not about historical recreation of primitive conditions.
It doesn't bother me, although I certainly see how it can wear thin, and I don't use the term myself.
Stepping back, I like the fact that this place seems to run pretty well without rules, so I would hate to see standards and guidelines about acceptable word usage, etc. Richard likes dropping F-bombs on anti-paleo idiots, Stephan and Kurt and Don like combing through controlled clinical trials, Mark and his fans find the Grok term to be useful/helpful. Is there room for all these approaches here? (Minus, maybe, the f-bombs... hehe)
I understand the complaints, on many levels, but I don't think we need to burn Grok at the stake. Let him die a peaceful, natural death, much like we all might wish to do.
How do most of us respond when someone uses a hackneyed phrase around us? Usually tepidly, but not rudely, and if the other person has much sense they will see this. No need to berate them.
I'm with you Patrick. Grok can be a useful metaphor at times. However when it crosses the not so fine line of metaphor to religion, in my opinion those people should give it a rest.
If you are finding yourself asking yourself "What Would Grok Do?" in the course of your typical day, I might suggest you take some time off the internets and attempt to regain a little perspective. Or, at least, get your own blog.
PS. While agnostic on 'Grok' the Sisson-noun, I have always been fond of 'grok' the Heinlein-verb. :-)
I have no desire to return to an earlier time and I really don't care what Grok did or thought. I just want to learn more about how our current eating habits influence our health. Any term used repeatedly will certainly wear thin. Except in the case of Heinlein, of course. :-)
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