Recently I posed a question “Can Someone Tell Me Why Our Scholars Aren’t as Smart as the Jews?”
As the saying goes “There are questions and there are questions.” Of course, this doesn’t necessary mean anything except to say not all questions are the same. Generally, we all know questions fall into two main broad categories. The first are ‘closed’ question like, “are you at home?” or “have you eaten?” Which usually requires only a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no” to answer.
The other is the ‘open ended’ question which usually requires a fair amount of elaboration, like “why do you think pygmies are shorter than us?” I know it looks simple enough. But look again. Hardly the simple Simon run-of-the-mill line of questioning one associates with a ‘closed’ question of closed. If we aren’t careful ‘open ended’ questions can all too easily be transformed into a lightning rod attracting loads of controversy. Such as the open ended question: “Can Someone Tell Me Why Our Scholars Aren’t as Smart as the Jews?” This brings into question: how do we successfully deal with the politics of ‘open ended’ questions? Is there some etiquette that goes with it? Read the rest of this entry »