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Grokking 101

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posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 11:43 PM
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I can't believe this topic isn't on ATS. I just attended a seminar from the people who invented 'grokking' (a bunch of neurologists). I've never experienced anything like it, so I really had to share it with you all.

If you've never heard of it, it's basically speed reading. Webster's says:


to understand thoroughly and intuitively.
However, it's more than just speed reading. It's optimizing your brain to it's maximum potential. Throughout our schooling we are taught to read from left to right, we are told there is only one answer, we stand in line, we raise our hand... it's surprising that with the amount of dendrites that grow in our left hemisphere we don't walk around leaning to the left.

It's incredible, some of the things I was taught! We can actually read comfortably between 40,000 to 60,000 Words per minute! This is with 90 - 100% comprehension and 40-60% retention. The average person reads around 200 - 250 WPM with 90 - 100% comprehension and retains only 3-7% of that information 36 hours after reading it. You eventually get to the level when your biggest hurdle is physically flipping the page fast enough.

I know what you're saying... it's BS. Everyone in the class was saying the exact same thing (including me). We were all very skeptical when we went in, but after I left, I was up to 650 WPM with just 10 minutes of exercises spread across an eight hour seminar. Most of the seminar was trying to convince us that it was possible if we just thought about it in a different way, showing us test cases, demonstrating retention activities, and explaining how the brain works. One of my colleagues has been practicing it for a few weeks, and is up to 1200 WPM. I HIGHLY recommend looking into it.

With an exercised right brain, you will grow more dendrites and thus, naturally have more creative and innovative ideas. As a manager, I can confidently say that these traits make you an incredibly valuable asset for any company.

So have any of you guys tried it? I can try to dig up some more info if there's any interest. Our brains are just so powerful, and untapped... after attending, my mind was reeling with the possibility that humans could process LOADS of information in seconds if conditioned to intake it correctly.

[edit to fix my lexdysia...]

[edit on 6.17.2009 by Avarus]




posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 11:51 PM
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Actually 'grokking' was invented by author Robert A. Heinlein term in his best-selling 1961 book Stranger in a Strange Land.

en.wikipedia.org...

I learned this initially from an old ATS game


Don't mean to detract from the thread, but I think some neurologists stole the term 'grok' for their own purposes.

[edit on 16-6-2009 by Zarniwoop]



posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 11:54 PM
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reply to post by Zarniwoop
 


Yeah, they mentioned that it's original meaning was pulled from that book. I think they just "recoined" it because it fit with their learning model so well...



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 12:01 AM
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Cool.

In any case, the whole speed-reading/comprehension thing has fascinated me since the Evelyn Wood commercials I heard as a kid. I'm sure there is something to it, I'm just like to enjoy a good book rather than speed through it. That would be kind of like eating a pizza in 10 seconds.

However, if you could scan stuff you don't really care to enjoy, but would like to know... really quickly, like say business law, then that would be pretty cool. Would have been good to know in college



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 12:04 AM
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In Junior high we had speed reading machines. Very interesting. We adjusted the machine faster with a pass of each comprehension test.

I am almost 40 and still speed read to this day. I can go through a document and I eliminate the small words without thought. I can read a novel in about two hours or less.

Ama



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 12:09 AM
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I'll have to look into this "grokking" thing. I can see where it could be useful, studying, learning something new, preparing for an exam. There are some topics I'd prefer to hurry through if I could
plus it's a great time management tool.

But I'm with the above poster, some things, like reading a good book on a lazy afternoon should never be rushed, words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters should be savored and enjoyed at leisure.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 12:13 AM
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Well I just read this entire thread in about 20-25 seconds...I comprehended everything and am pretty sure I will retain it. You said we were taught to read right to left?? I was always taught to read left to right,lol. Is this a mistake by you or am I just on another level or something,lol.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 12:14 AM
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is there any info. on how to properly...uh...grok?



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 12:44 AM
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In "A Stranger in a Strange Land" it meant to understand something so deeply, that it could be said you've eaten it or drank it in and have digested it and integrated it into your very being. The word was exchangable with eat and drink. And you can "grok" anything, including a person, or an object, or a place, or an action, anything you take in fully or "grok most fully of".

[edit on 17-6-2009 by OmegaPoint]



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 01:07 AM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


Yeah, that's exactly right. It seems the reason this group chose 'speed reading' is because everyone can do it, and everyone does it at a 5th grade level or less. The amazing thing, is that in the 10 minutes that I actually spent in the activities, and with very little effort, by increasing my WPM to 650, I'm now considered to be in the top 1% of the population.

From what I've heard, you don't lose any of the enjoyment you get from sitting back and reading a juicy novel, you just do it at a faster pace.

The way it was put best was... if you have a car that goes 200mph. And the cop's have given you the opportunity to drive around the outerbelt as fast as you want, for as long as you want. Chances are you're going to try to max that baby out. But when you're done, and you roll onto the ramp and see that 35mph sign. You're probably going to hit it going 95. That 95 is going to feel SO SLOW.

If we can tap into our brain's potential like this, we could do SO much. Apparently, with practice, you grow longer and more dendrites (branches off your brain cells). Each electrical connection between two dendrites is a possible 'thought'. If you have more dendrites, you have more options to choose from when given a specific challenge. With practice the dendrites become more permanent. IE. The first time you tie your shoe, it's difficult take much practice and effort to coordinate your hand/eye. By practicing hundreds of times, eventually that connection in the brain is engraved deeply. You can almost do it unconsciously now.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 01:13 AM
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reply to post by ELECTRICkoolaidZOMBIEtest
 


I'll try to find some materials. The seminar I attended was an pretty closed door... I'm not sure if I can disclose the name of the group that taught it until they're more public. It doesn't even seem like they have a website...

In the meantime, I'm sure there's plenty of books and whatnot available allover the web.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 01:55 AM
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They didn't recoin it, sounds like they stole it, filed off the serial numbers and slapped a new paint job on it.

If you want to understand what it means to gtok something, try reading the book and grokking some of the concepts he discussed so well and thoroughly.

And do try to get the unexpurgated version published in '91...it contains some 60,000 more words than the common version. It contains scenes the original editors deemed too offensive for the public at the time. As good as the originally printed version was, the way RAH originally wrote it was way better than after the editors pissed in it.

And I happily grok that.

[edit on 17-6-2009 by apacheman]



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by apacheman
 


You're right, but it's not really the point. The point is unlocking a greater potential for for your brain.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 11:00 AM
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reply to post by Avarus
 


So are there any practice methods to this?



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by Avarus
 


Again, try reading the original premise and discussion by the origninator of the concept. Heinlein explains the process rather thoroughly, albeit he used the "Martian language" as the teaching tool in the book, certainly a gloss.

However, he went into great detail about the underpinnnings of the concept, in fact, the concepts involved run throughout his writings if you pay attention.

To comprehend grokking, one of the things you need to understand is "Thou art god" (from the book), that is, everything is god, god is inseperable from the tiniest particle. Now mind you he wasn't referring to God, as in Yahweh, JC, or Allah, more like a universal god principle, an equality and connection between all things large and small.

To grok something you need to understand that it is connected to everything else in multiple ways. Hmmm....I garden, and my plants grow larger and better than most peoples', if fact, those who visit my garden are usually astonished that I can get anything to grow in the type of soil we have around here (mostly decomposed granite). But I grok dirt, partly because I once read a book about three inches thick on the subject, twice, partly because I observe carefully, partly because I touch it smell it, physically work it each year. I know the critters I find in it, the chemistry involved, and the interplay between sunlight, temperature, plants and bugs not as individual things but as a dynamic system. I feel their seperate and collective energies. I grok them together. To grok something also means to love it, even when it's a bad thing. Love not in a blind sense, but in understanding of why and how.

To grok takes effort: hard intellectual and spiritual work. I've practiced it ever since I first read the book "Stranger in a Strange Land", but to quote Michael Valentine Smith, "I am only an egg", I still haven't mastered the subtleties.

I urge you to give yourself a treat and read the book. It's a fabulous read, seminal, challenging, and extremely fun. In fact, I think I'll go reread it again for about the twelfth or twentieth time.

Thank you, Robert Anson Heinlein, the world lost a major talent when you died. Come back soon.

[edit on 17-6-2009 by apacheman]



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by Avarus
 


If you could put me any practice methods or anything about this that would help one start being able to do this would be greatly appreciated!

Zetetic_of_Truth



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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reply to post by apacheman
 


Nice!



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by Zetetic_of_Truth
 


Sure. What they taught us, was only the first level. Basically, the eye hops around when your reading. A good way to illustrate this is to lean back in your chair so you can see your entire monitor in your peripheral vision (I hope you're not sitting that close anyway). Now look at the upper right corner of your monitor border and try, without moving your head trace the outline of the monitor with your eyes. You'll notice that your eyes hop from one point to the next. This is just how your vision naturally works.

Now, put your finger in the upper right corner of the monitor, and use your finger to trace around the outside of the monitor (focus your eye on the position at the tip of your finger). You'll notice right away that your movement of your eye is a hundred times smoother.

You can apply this to reading. It's going to be very difficult for me to explain in writing... but I'll try.

Print out a sheet of text, lay it flat on the table in front of you, and put your finger below the line of text and let your eye follow your finger. Your pace should be about 1 to 0.5 seconds per line (on a standard 8.5x11 paper with 12 point font). One exercise had us flip the paper upside down and track the upside down words, so you're only focusing on the pace, and not the comprehension. Speed part is the most important, the comprehension comes with practice later on. I recommend trying 0.5 seconds per line a bunch of times, and 1 second per line will feel like you're going as slow as molasses.

There's a little speed reading excercise section here:
eslus.com...

Here's another:
www.turboread.com...

You can look for any chunk of text with some comprehension questions at the end to test the % of the material that you recall.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 07:35 PM
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reply to post by apacheman
 


Thanks for the info. It seems like the points you're making, is where they were going with the later parts of the course. It almost becomes a meditation to read in huge quantities. You are intaking information in a new way that processes it at an optimum efficiency. A process that could potentially be applied to anything. Seeing the world in a totally different way.

I really think we're on the same page, and I'm looking forward to reading that book!



[edit on 6.17.2009 by Avarus]



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Avarus
reply to post by Zetetic_of_Truth
 


Sure. What they taught us, was only the first level. Basically, the eye hops around when your reading. A good way to illustrate this is to lean back in your chair so you can see your entire monitor in your peripheral vision (I hope you're not sitting that close anyway). Now look at the upper right corner of your monitor border and try, without moving your head trace the outline of the monitor with your eyes. You'll notice that your eyes hop from one point to the next. This is just how your vision naturally works.

Now, put your finger in the upper right corner of the monitor, and use your finger to trace around the outside of the monitor (focus your eye on the position at the tip of your finger). You'll notice right away that your movement of your eye is a hundred times smoother.

You can apply this to reading. It's going to be very difficult for me to explain in writing... but I'll try.

Print out a sheet of text, lay it flat on the table in front of you, and put your finger below the line of text and let your eye follow your finger. Your pace should be about 1 to 0.5 seconds per line (on a standard 8.5x11 paper with 12 point font). One exercise had us flip the paper upside down and track the upside down words, so you're only focusing on the pace, and not the comprehension. Speed part is the most important, the comprehension comes with practice later on. I recommend trying 0.5 seconds per line a bunch of times, and 1 second per line will feel like you're going as slow as molasses.

There's a little speed reading excercise section here:
eslus.com...

Here's another:
www.turboread.com...

You can look for any chunk of text with some comprehension questions at the end to test the % of the material that you recall.


Thanks for the information, definitely going to try it out and check out those sites with the excercises as well!


Zetetic_of_Truth



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