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Letter: Beware those who would criticize knowledge

So ... the term "overeducated" has gained currency in the national discourse.

I myself can never be "overeducated."

The more that I learn, the more I understand how much more I have to learn. The greater my knowledge, the smaller a fraction it seems of the vast and sprawling sum of knowledge to be gained.

It is like cresting a tall hill at the edge of my neighborhood, only to lay eyes for the first time upon distant ranges of mountains, lining a dawn horizon like endless, luminous, upward serrated silver. I am richer for having seen them there — no matter how paltry my hilltop now seems when I imagine it measured against them. And now that I know the mountains are there, there is a chance that I will someday depart to reach their feet.

I hope I never call myself an "expert" in any subject. The word is fool's gold. Hubris clings like oil to the circumference of its rounded letters.

But shaming the pursuit of knowledge? Chiding those who've worked to attain it, as though their diligence and curiosity were character flaws? That is worse.

Let me tell you something that I have learned in my nearly half century on this planet. When people tell you not to think, then you should think. When people tell you not to ask questions, then you should ask questions. There is always information or a new perspective that the people behind such admonitions do not want you to gain.

And why should we trust those who would deny us so? 

Eric Nolan, Roanoke

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