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Hands down, chemistry. The other sciences are neat and all but chemistry teaches you how to easily create things that go boom.
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Other: History. Teaches you why you should learn how to make things that go boom.
I too liked Chemistry.
I ended up taking Chemistry at the local college after I graduated HS. They actually had real nice equipment and it made the experience so much better. I really enjoyed it and still think about doing it all over again just for fun.
No need for classes. All the information you'll ever need is online for free. Really, once you have a few gallons of nitric acid, the world's your oyster as far as things that go boom are concerned. I wouldn't advise trying home brewed peroxide-based explosives though. TATP, for instance, is damned nifty but it's also a good way to lose a hand.
What I learned in H.S. Chem... Table salt, melt it, add a couple DC electrodes, that's all you need. Just don't throw the stuff in a swimming pool.
Avoid all contact with metal, particularly copper-containing metal.
Start with half a cup of 6% peroxide. Add 2 tablespoons and 2/3 teaspoon of crushed hexamethylene tablets, commonly available as wax-coated solid fuel pellets for camp stoves. Stir to dissolve, and start to cool the mix with an ice bath. Add a quarter cup of citric acid. Stir to dissolve. Immediately filter it, keeping to liquid, to get rid of undissolved crap like wax. Let the liquid sit for a day or two, so that crystals form. Filter it again, this time keeping the crystals. Wash it several times with water, then with alcohol. Let it dry.
You should have about 4.5 grams of white powder. It is enough to blow a hole 1/4-inch deep into a concrete floor. I never got it to go off by hitting it with a hammer, so it is decently safe. It ignites easily. It will transition to Mach 25 detonation if you slightly confine it, for example in a pen cap that isn't even sealed up. Spread thin it just flashes like gunpowder, but add a shaving of wood on top and it'll detonate.
Unlike TATP, it won't sublime and thus get all over. Like TATP, it degrades, becoming inert after a few weeks.
Advice for keeping your body intact, unlike mine: if you are fucking around with it, doing stuff like igniting tiny bits of it with a shaving of wood on top to cause detonation, be aware that detonation shock waves can propagate to a larger container that might be sitting nearby.
Chemistry certainly is fun. Not only can you learn how to make things that go boom, but you can also learn how to make things that make the world seem amazing!
But in all seriousness, I preferred physics, on the grounds that calculating where projectiles will land, and then launching a few to test your math, is just plain fun.
Physics is what made other subjects like mathematics and software fun...
There is no boom without physics, and to understand physics you need to be fluent in math. Chemistry is your first abstraction layer, followed by biology. After that, everything is politics
Obligatory xkcd [xkcd.com]
Obligatory SMBC. [smbc-comics.com]
Biologists think they are biochemists,Biochemists think they are Physical Chemists,Physical Chemists think they are Physicists,Physicists think they are Gods,And God thinks he is a Mathematician.
Or, another (shorter) way it goes:
Physicists defer only to mathematicians, mathematicians defer only to God.
I love Math but damn bitch don't love me none!
To this day once in a while a take a course in higher mathematics just to remind me that I'm like the poor little child staring into a candy shop: so much to have, so many delicious things and I can't have them.
After math, physics; hands down. Of course other subjects were (and are) very interesting: history, philosophy, software, hardware.
I have a degree in Engineering and a degree in Law, so my interests are many and varied but I will never do biology or chemistry, too many foul smelling things and icky too!
But if I had to pick one it would have been electronic principles at Lackland Air Force Base, because the instructors actually blew shit up. The instructors were total bros and ex-military civilians who would curse and tell dirty jokes (as well as allow the students to do the same), let us watch Pulp Fiction and Wallace and Grommet, and showed us very informative demonstrations about plugging 115 VAC into microprocessors and small capacitors. Specifically the course content was basic ohm's law shit, time constants, clippers/clampers, and clockey digital stuff. Was quite a bitch to get up at 4am and start the day with PT though, because it made staying awake a struggle and the blues we had to wear to school were known for aggravating the morning wood that the lack of sleep caused.
- Software Engineering was great because we did the whole app/Tomcat/SQL thing and it was encouraging to see that a complete system could be built by 1 person in a relatively short amount of time if necessary. Frankly it's amazing that more people aren't teaching themselves how to roll their own systems, this is all shit people can learn and roll themselves with only a cell phone and dev machine as requirements.
- Multimedia Programming was great because we reinvented the Photoshop effects wheel with code, a true A-ha moment.
Now some classes I hated:
- Internship sucked ass because Diversity University allows only internships that serve the public good, like charities or city government, so I because I couldn't serve an internship with Lockheed Martin I didn't learn dick about actually using my skills. On top of that the internship class was used as an opportunity to shove PC bullshit and White Privilege up our asses, and we had to read finger-wagging anti-White bullshit from Harvard-educated Jews and other bullshit like "Black in Silicon Valley" that was really code for suggesting that Blacks are just an untapped marketing demographic to be exploited. Goddamn is it good to be graduated and be able to express my support for President Donald Trump without fucking over my education. Being on the university mailing list was fucking hilarious during the election, the university president sent out a professional but whiny "Fuck Trump" e-mail to everybody and it was obvious that a good number of students were dissatisfied with the PC bullshit going on at the school.
- Chemistry is a fucking rad science but all of the strict needless little lab rules really killed it for me, having to use sig figs was super-infuriating and being forced to working with others (lab partners) always sucked ass because I always got paired with lazy idiots. The last straw was being required to memorize all of the mono and polyatomic ions and their charges. I had such bad times in chem that the experience caused me to switch majors from bio to computer science. Probably a better career move even if the biz is chock full of H1-B stinkies who lower wages shit in the break room sink.
this is all shit people can learn and roll themselves
You overestimate the attention span, and capacity for learning, of your fellow homo sapiens.
Seeing this survey made me realize that this year will mark the 30th anniversary of my graduation from college.
My favorite subject was Computer Science, that being my major. Back then we had classes where we built our own D-flip-flops, and used breadboards to construct basic circuits. This was so we'd understand what the fuck was really going on at the machine level. From what I've seen of recent graduates, colleges don't do things like that anymore, at least not for the software folks. (maybe some high end place like MIT still does, but not the run-of-the-mill programmers I've had to deal with lately) Of course back then they made the freshman computer courses use punch cards, although no one did in 'real life' even then. At the time I thought the profs just wanted us to know their pain, but with the wisdom of age I realize it was probably just that the punch readers hadn't been fully amortized yet.
Back then, what I enjoyed about building software was that you got to do everything. C was (and still is) my first software love, there was nothing the machine could do that you couldn't tell it to do. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility, and too many programmers can't keep track of memory use or pointer logic. We'd have to build our own data structures, from scratch, every program! Ah, youth. Now all that stuff is prepackaged, and programming is boring as hell.
I'm retired now, and long since fell out of any real personal interest in software. Writing software and designing database for 30 years'll do that to you, I guess. I got tired of yet another hotshot new hire coming in and telling us how we should put everything in the cloud... feh. Soul dead now, I guess.
The only other subject I liked in college was a 3-quarter series on Greek and Roman history and culture, Classics it was called then. The course was a good prof, one the rare ones, although it took her a while to comprehend that, yes, the sole computer science major in her classes really did understand and enjoy that stuff. She even tried to convince me to change my major, in my senior year to boot, but I couldn't even learn French in high school, let alone the Latin -- and Greek! -- that a real classicist would have to learn.
I'm rambling. I'm old, we do that. I'll stop now, so feel free to castigate and deride me now. It seems to be in vogue these days.
Dude! Class of '88 - BS from a major private institution. The main thing I learned in those 4 years is that "the man" can raise tuition from $10K per year to $20K per year in the space of 4 years, just because they want to and people were apparently willing to pay.
I especially enjoyed how the CS program was entirely theoretical and programming language design was taught in pseudocode with the occasional snippet of Pascal. My university didn't even use C which I needed to learn on my own.
It's completely irrelevant since there are absolutely no jobs anywhere in the "tech" industry and anyone who earns a CS degree is doomed to starve to death in poverty.
The question should be: "What was your favorite distraction in college before you graduated into the real world where economic opportunity doesn't exist?"
Don't make me shove this boot up your cloaca.
Bring it on, robut bitch.
Kiss my shiny metal daffodil!
When I was in Aerospace, it became quite obvious of the pecking order...
Number 1 was the organizational skills of the executive, knowing who to place over who, and how much power he should delegate to each. This skill was worth about 6 million dollars a year.
Number 2 was the leadership skills of the managerial level. They used leadership skills to set what the level below them would be allowed to do. These were valued up to aroung $600K per year or so.
Number 3 was the do-ership skills of the engineers. This topped out about $100K. The good ones were highly skilled at doing dog-and-pony shows. The ones actually mechanizing the dreams were lumped at the top of the last group, and were quite expendable.
Number 4, the last group, was the craftmenship skills of the builders/assemblers. Their worth was between about twice the wage of a fast food chef, and the lowest level of Engineering. Maybe topping 60K or so. And these people came and went like the tide, according to which company got a government contract. These people actually built the things we sold to the Government, and had first hand experience on exactly what to do to make one that works, and one that looks like it will work and won't.
Number 5 is the highly educated engineer who volunteers to clean toilets at the soup kitchen. This is the guy who can't find a job because every job is taken by talentless bullshitters whose only skill is sucking dick. This is the guy who offers to do volunteer tech support for the soup kitchen, but is told, "We contract an Indian tech firm." This is the guy who offers to hook up the soup kitchen with cheaper internet, but is told, "We already have Comcast." This is the guy who is treated with suspicion at every attempt to apply any skills because, "You would have a job if you were any good." This is the guy who gets fired from a volunteer job at the soup kitchen because, "We can find someone more likeable to clean our toilets."
Always wear gloves when emptying the garbage in the women's restroom, because they throw tampons in the garbage.
This one time, at band camp, I stuck an oboe in my pussy, and I lost my reed in there, and I had to wait until my period to get the reed back. Then I switched to choir, pitches!
Do you know David Guetta?
Yuh. My body is 40% Titanium [jango-raid.ml]
I'm definitely biased, but my favorite is Intro to Logic on both levels. As a student, I loved the way it formally covered the thoughts and insights I had on how to reason. I also liked the way that it connected set logic to stuff I had learned in mathematics. And then when I thought everything had been covered, the last week covered MVL (specifically null-based unknowns, like in SQL) and fuzzy logic.
As a professor, it is such a great feeling to watch a class go through it. Even though a good chunk of the class takes it as a Gen Ed, everyone seems to get something out of it at the end. For some, it is the realization that RAA and conditional proofs are valid forms of argument; others love the evolving history of Aristotelian AIEO syllogistic logic, through prepositional, symbolic, predicate, modal, HOL/MVL/fuzzy/dialtheism, and beyond; other love the link to mathematics; others like the link to electrical engineering; others like the link to computer science and engineering; others like the formality in a sea of otherwise "soft" classes they take as Gen Eds; some like the discussions of informal logic and named fallacies; and some even take it on purpose to go on to the advanced logic classes.
Done correctly, it really is the class with something for everyone.
Logic is pretty cool. Was funny to discover my girlfriend and I knew many of the same things, she from studying philosophy and I from math and physics. :) Not something you see every day.
Definitely one of my favorite classes way back in Uni. I was a microbiology major, but I took the comp-sci version not the philosophy version, and we wrote proofs in a programming language called MIZAR on an then-already-ancient MTS mainframe.
The weird thing is that they wait until 1st or 2nd year University to teach this stuff. I've met so many otherwise intelligent and educated people with no grasp of simple logic. It is so incredibly useful in "real life" that they really should be starting in 1st grade.
intersex transgender studies
Software. Started with interpreted BASIC in the 70's. (that's NINTEEN seventies.) Instant gratification to run a program but without the happy ending.
Learning Pascal in about 1981 was elegant, and was mind opening. Functions with locally scoped variables. Recursion. Data structures processed by recursion. Modules (aka "units"). Brief dabbling in 8086 assembly to write fast display code for IBM PC hardware screen buffer to enable pop up windows, saving, restoring window contents, arbitrary scrolling of a confined rectangular area of the screen, etc. Dabbling in M68000 assembly to write Mac desk accessories, system service programs loaded at boot time (the icon parade), and link the 68000 code with the main body of code in Pascal.
Learning Lisp in about 1986 was way more mind opening. The whole idea of "symbollic" processing. Pattern matching. Unification. Logic programming. The power of Macros. Lazy lists (a subset of lazy evaluation). A taste of functional programming with higher order functions. Building parsers. Seeing a much easier (but slower execution) way that workable compilers could be implemented. Of course studying different implementations of garbage collection. Searching a problem space for a solution. Minimax for two person zero sum game play. Planning the movements of a hypothetical robot arm to achieve a goal.
If you can live in an R&D playground in the 80's and 90's, I highly recommend it.
As for study? Yea, in School, definitely software. But the thing is: never stop studying and learning. Always be learning. There came a point where I could no longer know everything that was going on. So I specialized my interests and have a shallow level of knowledge on some subjects.
Tip: learn not only the level of abstraction that your peers work in, but what goes on below that abstraction. And even the level of abstraction below that. Soon you become the answer guy that everyone comes to. People line up at your office door. Managers eventually take note of that.
Those were the days. I experienced them as well.
These days, I feel I am playing with legos... any of which may be taken away and replaced with something similar at a whim of management ... and they expect me to make something that works out of it.
Lunch and recess.
Those who fail to learn History are doomed to repeat it. Usually in summer school.
Avalon: Volume 2 - Those Who Fail History Are Doomed To Repeat It [avalonhigh.com]
Teaching dinosaurs to sit, lay, rollover.
You insensitive clod! Closely followed by Art. Followed by smoking out in the parking lot.
Then again, there were no computers, or computer courses when I was in High school.... Who knows? I could have been the next Bill Jobs!