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Is this all there is?
  1. Charles J Prestigiacomo
  1. Correspondence to Charles J Prestigiacomo, Department of Neurological Surgery, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 90 Bergen Street, Suite 8100, Newark, NJ 07103, USA; c.prestigiacomo{at}

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May you live in interesting times (ancient Chinese proverb/curse)

A double-edged sword indeed. It is said that this wish, be it a blessing or curse, is one of a series of three escalating blessings/curses in Chinese tradition—the second being ‘May you come to the attention of people of position (authority)’ and the third, ‘May you get all that you wish for’.

I love history. It teaches us as much about why we are as who we are. If we ‘listen’ to history, it can tell us where we might be going and most likely what we do not want to repeat. In the brief 40-plus year history of our field, it is clear that we are not only living in interesting times but that we are coming to the attention of ‘authority’. The question is whether we are getting or will get all we wish for.

None can deny that we live in interesting times. The question I ask of neurointerventionalists and the broader community of all neurosurgeons, neurologists, radiologists, and indeed all physicians and surgeons is whether these are blessings or curses.

To some, the current discussions in the …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.