Geeks under 35, do you use the word grok?

@emacsen I'm over 35 and I think it's outdated. We're beyond the phase of having our culture shaped by libertarian sci-fi authors. Look where that took us: billionaire nerds looking at sci-fi dystopias and going "yeah! that's the world I want to build! The tech is so cool — hey, as long as I'm the one in control of the panopticon it's all good right?"


I understand that viewpoint, but as someone who uses grok a great deal, and who used it even before reading SIASL, I disagree.

Words go beyond their original usage. Many words in English have their origin with Shakespere but we don't say "Oh that's just from that English author."- they're just words we use.

And shared stories especially, those are really the center of culture.

As for dystopian and panopticon, etc. I genuinely don't know what it is you mean here. Maybe elaborate?

@emacsen I learned it before learning about the book too. But over time I started connecting the dots between early Unix culture, words from libertarian sci-fi being used as ingroup identifiers, people like ESR promoting themselves and a particular spin on Unix culture (see: his edits to the Jargon File), etc. These things feed into each other. I see breaking with that language as a way to break that loop.

@emacsen As for the dystopia/panopticon bit, that was about how people like John Carmack — himself a staunch libertarian — justifies working for Zuckerberg on VR out of his fascination for virtual worlds described in sci-fi, and Zuckerberg himself, the owner of the modern-day panopticon of the Western world, going all in on the "metaverse".

It's like the saying goes: "Orwell's 1984 was supposed to be a warning, not a manual", only their manual is "Snow Crash".



As much as I don't like Heinlein, I don't think we can call Stranger in a Strange Land a dystopia, unless you have *really* strong negative feelings about polyamory.

..and martians.

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@emacsen just to clarify, I wasn't referring to that one in particular, but talking more broadly about the links between sci-fi and tech culture.

@hisham_hm @emacsen I like grok and I'm over 35... I think it's fine. Metaverse being coopted makes my blood boil though. Esp ironic given the initial context was rather dystopian, and now we have life imitating art except more banal.

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