Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chemistry Feedback

CGH said...
I guess I'm grateful I remembered all that. (Of course, I'm old; when I was studying chemistry there were only 14 elements.) But I have to admit, I would have learned it a lot more easily with this kind of instruction.
Wow. You're a real trooper, still interested enough in chemistry after all these years to take a gander at an intro to organic chemistry on a blog. I've gotten a little tired of it and I just got out of school. I actually thought about writing an entire organic textbook this way. I suppose it probably wouldn't have been viable as a real textbook, since I would not want to actually go through all those tiresome details, definitions and equations, as that would have ruined all the fun. I probably would have just tried to sell it as a study-guide type of thing. Or not sell it, more likely. But I figured it would've helped me land a job as a professor having actually taken the time to write such a thing, even if it wasn't much of a success. I think it is very sad that most folks who end up studying the subject will end up with a head crammed full of facts but will have missed the big picture. That was really the whole point of that particular post. I think that if you understand that very basic principle, you've pretty much got 80% of the concepts in organic chemistry. Yes, you'll have to go through all the details, but that one, simple concept will explain about 80% of what you see. Per Mackay & Ben:
Good to see you getting back to your roots, but what brought on such a random (but very enlightening) post?
A couple of weeks ago, I put up a poll and asked what folks would like to see more of. Somebody responded "chemistry," so I obliged them. Part of the motivation for starting the blog was to have a place to post my thoughts and generate chunks of text that I might one day want to compile for some larger project. I'd had the idea in mind for awhile, and since I got the chemistry request, I just pounded it out. Fun stuff! Maybe I'll do another "chapter" soon. Right now, I feel a bit behind because I've been out of town for a couple of days, and a lot of important stuff has happened in the markets that I've not been able to post on. I'm one busy something-or-other these days...

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