BlogHer is a Chavruta, Not a Cult
Well, how droll. Everyday I read comments and posts on BlogHer with one sided facts, allowing no accommodation for opposing points of view.
There seems to be no recognition that other spiritual beings may have experienced a side of the universe unknown to the posting authors. In fact, many BlogHers post their thoughts, while turning quickly to "take their toys and go home," when a reader offers conflicting knowledge.
As long as Comments and congruently related BlogHer posts are aligned in like thinking, the "X's" for kisses and "O's" for hugs flow like virtual slaps on backs at an "old boy's club." But, let a reader offer a challenging Comment or information from an opposing, but equally defensible stand, and suddenly childish name calling and faddish labels such as "pseudoscience" seek to banish the offender to "from whence they came."
This lack of interactive embracing is ill advised, as every known fact in the world has varying points of view and ways to support it. And, no one, not even one BlogHer, knows everything, including the discoveries that will be made tomorrow.
Anyone with a real thirst for learning wants to hear it all, warts and all, to add to their knowledge bases. Some new facts will be stored for future reference while others may be discarded or put "on hold," for validation. But, intelligent people want to listen and learn from those coming from a different place, walking a different path. How else, in the world, does one learn something new? If BlogHers only interact with those who think like they do, the knowledge gained quickly lessens, but worse still, their interaction becomes like a cult.
Blue sky and rain clouds can exist at the same time.
Yes, it's true! If BlogHers adhere to one view, affirming only slight variations of the same theme, the group becomes a cult. Cults restrict ideas, limiting thought and expression to a selected version of tenets. In cults, people consider themselves educated, even though they mindlessly parrot the collective thoughts of the group. If one conforms to the group's collective beliefs, they are rewarded. If one speaks up with a diverse contribution, they are shunned. BlogHer was never meant to funnel thinking down into a space no wider than a computer screen. No! The BlogHer community was built to be like a Chavruta. You know, the partnership in learning that is the cornerstone of Jewish education.
Chavruta Style Learning in Grade 2
For years too numerous to count, Jews worldwide have maintain that knowledge cannot be learned in isolation. Knowledge is to be presented, discussed and even argued to the betterment of all that participate. It is the only way to see the other side of the mountain. And, it is practiced from the youngest in elementary school to the highly learned at the Yeshiva Universities. Each person in the discussion, which is often carried out in pairs, is respected for their interpretative offerings of text and tradition.
Advance Chavruta (or Chavrusa) Learning
Wikipedia shares that, "In contrast to conventional classroom learning, in which a teacher lectures to the student and the student repeats the information back in tests, chavruta-style learning challenges the student to analyze and explain the material, point out the errors in his partner's reasoning, and question and sharpen each other's ideas, often arriving at entirely new insights of the meaning of the text."
"A chavruta helps a student keep his mind focused on the learning, sharpen his reasoning powers, develop his thoughts into words, organize his thoughts into logical arguments, and understand another person's viewpoint." The entry continues, "Chavruta-style learning tends to be loud and animated. In the heat of discussion, they may even wave their hands, pound the table, or shout at each other." For the full entry, go here.
Many BlogHers take co-ed attendance for
granted. Yentl must attend as a male
student. Notice the chavruta in this clip.
I am left to wonder how such educated and so called articulate BlogHer-ians can be so collectively ignorant. How can intelligent minds believe the truth is determined by how many people believe it? How can they think if they gather and rally in like-ignorance, thronging their numbers into the streets, that somehow an ultimate consensus of "common sense" can be reached? Critically thinking minds recognize the world is replete with burgeoning knowledge, ever changing and accumulating.
The advancement of our learning, by its nature, forever requires reassessment and evaluation. This can only can be achieved if everyone in the BlogHer community contributes their share of ideas, while extending respect in our Chavruta or partnership.