For the great man said: “The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.”
Does this ring any bells regarding the Dope? Are the old (here’s looking at you, Mr Simmons! - Polycarp, I’ll let you off) so credulous?
Are the middle-aged (a category into which I may have slipped, although I’m still taken for 35 by people wanting me to buy them a drink) so sceptical, so cynical? (Not roger, I hear you shout.)
And then what about the youngsters, the fresh graduates, of whom we have a good few? Do they really think they know everything? Or is it just, as I suspect (hah! the stereotype may have something to it), the impression they want to give, while deep down they know they lag behind the likes of Dave, **Poly ** and me?
I certainly knew everything when I was young. I am thankful to have forgotten much of it; otherwise there would be no room in my head for new stuff, and I would get an “out of memory error” every time I encountered anything I wanted to keep in mind.
This kind of memory problem is called “hardening of the smarteries.”
I agree with pinkfreud. When I was a brand new nurse, I knew more than any of those old, burned out, nurses. As time passed I began to understand just how little I knew. Maybe I did come to a point of questioning everything. I still question the world at every opportunity, but with less venom.
My in-laws are in their 80s. Now* they* believe everything. They’ve been scammed so many times, we’ve asked the stop answering the phone.
roger thornhill, your quote reminds me of something in medicine I heard years ago. Sorry, I have no idea where its from.
“An Internist knows everything, and does nothing. A Surgeon knows nothing, and does everything. A Pathologist knows everything, and does everything, but a day too late.”
I’m fascinated by the background to this. Internist is fresh out of med school and bookish and earnest - ok. But surgeon as winging it? That’s new to me. Care to explain. I take it pathologists are considered clever but slow (overly careful?).
It’s not that the surgeon is “winging it.” S/he just doesn’t have the fresh-faced internist’s naive certainty about everything, and unlike the internist, s/he’s always elbow-deep in people, and not doing routine gruntwork.
Pathologists don’t only work with dead people (except autopsy pathologists.) It’s just that their patients are already quite ill.
Fascinating insight into the world that my mother always wanted me to enter.
One more question. Which is the nuttier group: surgeons or psychiatrists? The surgeons I’ve met are nutty as fruitcakes (the “price of genius” as one of them put it to me after he’d been ripped off by another Asian lady), but shrinks have a reputation to keep up.