"By the end of the nineteenth century it seemed that the basic fundamental principles governing the behavior of the physical universe were known."
Alastair Rae. Quantum Physics. Illusion or Reality? 1994
"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. patent office, 1899
Straightforward statements but quite telling.
Both refer to a time before powered flight, before the atom was discovered and when the only real drugs were the opiates.
Yet, we know now that as the Victorians ponced about in their tall hats and shoved small children up chimneys whilst thinking that they'd reached the pinnacle of understanding and creativity they had in fact barely scratched the surface.
Even now, as we peer at atoms down our ever-increasingly powerful electron microscopes, we discover ever smaller sub-atomic particles waving back at us and we have to invent new and interesting names for them.
Few are now willing to walk to the end of that shaky gang-plank and pronounce that they know everything about anything for fear of a contradictory photo or article appearing in the next day's newspaper.
Now we know we don't know everything and have realised we actually know surprisingly little about anything..
In my own tiny universe I thought I knew most things about smoking and a few things about hypnotists.
I now know that I know far more about smoking than I could ever have imagined yet I also know that I still know very little.
The same applies to hypnotists..
My point? Oh yeah.... Smoking.
Imagine trotting down the path and joining the no-smoking queue, waiting in line until you reach the front and then being issued with crampons, a groovy hat and a bag of chalk and then being shown to the foot of a sheer cliff face and then handed your own personal rope.
Many years later when you reach the summit exhausted, bruised and thoroughly glum imagine how annoying it would be to find someone spritely perched on a rock who tells you not only was there a fork in the path before the queue but that it lead to a gently sloping path scenically winding its way up the mountain. Also there was an ice-cream van and viewing platform half-way up.
The next time someone tells you that quitting smoking is hard ask them if they keep bumping into people carrying ice-creams? :rolleyes: