Emblematic of this era was the prolific Viennese surgeon Theodor Billroth. Born in 1821, Billroth studied music and surgery with almost equal verve. (The professions still often go hand in hand. Both push manual skill to its limit; both mature with practice and age; both depend on immediacy, precision, and opposable thumbs.)
Swords, Lances, arrows, machine guns, and even high explosives have had far less power over the fates of nations than the typhus louse, the plague flea, and the yellow-fever mosquito. Civilizations have retreated from the plasmodium of malaria, and armies have crumbled into rabbles under the onslaught of cholera spirilla, or of dysentery and typhoid bacilli. Huge areas have bee devastated by the trypanosome that travels on the wings of the tsetse fly, and generations have been harassed by the syphilis of a courtier. War and conquest and that herd existence which is an accompaniment of what we call civilization have merely set the stage for these more powerful agents of human tragedy.
Los científicos e individuos de finales del siglo veinte son altamente creyentes, tanto como los científicos de antaño, lo único que ha cambiado es el objeto de su fe, los tradicionales creían en principios universales que regían el cosmos visible e invisible, enseñanzas y técnicas trasmitidas de generación en generación por hombres que se dedicaban a la concentración, la meditación y el estudio, que vivían en el bosque o en monasterios y templos apartados del dinero y del ruido. Los científicos actuales creen con la misma intensidad que sus antepasados, pero no en esos principios metafísicos y universales que les parecen supercherías, sino en el poder de medicaciones químicas, aunque se retiren años después; en el poder de protección de vacunas y antibióticos... en el poder del dinero para crear la realidad más falsa de todas por definición... y en definitiva en el Sistema que es quien les ha creado, quien les mantiene y el que un día les fagocitará.
I'm taking inorganic chem and physics not because I want to but because I have to. Not every doctor wants to be a scientist. Some of us just want to take care of sick people. I can't help thinking that medicine is more closely aligned to the humanities than to the sciences. I can't help thinking that I could learn more about being a good doctor from William Shakespeare than I could from Isaac Newton. After all, isn't understanding people at least as important as understanding pathology?
Despite all my public misconduct, in the past year, I had learned the Elemental spells, the Doppelschläferin, and the preparation and flying of a magic broom; I had survived two months as prisoner of war, saving the life of captain Johanne in the process; I had escaped the dungeons of Fortress Drachensbett, and after an arduous journey successfully reunited with my double, so preserving her, and all Montagne, from Prince Flonian's rapacity, I would somehow master the despicable art of being a princess.
There are times in my life when I have been medicine for some while poison for others. I used to think I was a victim of my story until I realized the truth that I am the creator of my story. I choose what type of person I will be and what type of impact I will leave on others. I will never choose the destructive path of self and outward victimization again.
Better to forget, better to let go of the bitterness. I say bitterness is only good in medicine, or if you fry bitter gourd with egg, then it's dlicious. I told Lan-Lan many times, we have only one life, it's important to kua kwee, to look spaciously. Not keep the eyes so narrowed down to the small dispairs.Those people who say forgive and forget, I say they not right. Not so simple. I say, find right medicine. Bitterness must be just right for problem. Then swallow it, think of good things can do when no longer sick.