I don't see it quite the way Chris does, and it's hard to understand knowing that he offers workshops himself. Anyway, not going to workshops might be right for him, but different people learn differently. Some have no trouble with learning from books, others need hands-on experimentation combined with peace and quite to learn it all themselves, but many benefit from face-to-face group efforts with instructions as in workshops.
There is no one-way-fits-all when it comes to learning.
For people without a formal education in photography, workshops are a good alternative to books and instructional videos. I don't mind a penny I've spend on workshops, but one has to be selective, because there are some bad ones out there too. The best way is to talk to people who have already taken the workshop and ask them what they got out of it.