Pynchon thoroughly grokked
the Golden State, as The Crying of Lot 49, Vineland, and his 1966 essay on the Watts riots all make clear (even the mysterious Wanda Tinasky sent her letters to Mendocino County's Anderson Valley Advertiser).
We read: "Disgusting to realize he was flirting with Arthur's mom, to realize, now that he grokked
girls, he'd always been flirting with Arthur's mom.
As Sawin puts it: ``The established generation of scientists hasn't grokked
the effect yet - people do not want to go into a field where they scramble to find any job, with little security.
When a Boston University student named Lanny Friedlander started reason back in 1968 as a mimeographed call to arms--well, let's just say he very much grokked
the Russian-born writer.
This description helps explain why the Stranger's actions fit so poorly into the worldly scene before he grokked
people and the tragicomic human condition.