Nested commenting eliminated

I’m going to try an experiment with comments.  I find them easier to read when there’s only one conversation and all comments are arranged in chronological order.  If most people hate it, we can go back.

9 Responses

  1. I think it depends on comment volume. Once you get more than about 100 comments in a comment box, un-threaded/un-nested comments are better. With less than 100, I like threaded/nested comments better. So, for Throne and Altar, I like threaded better.

  2. With your low comment volume, either way works. I can’t believe the other way was such a struggle.

  3. I’ll forgive you for noticing my low comment volume.

  4. Mr. Bonald, as one who has very infrequently commented here, let me say the low comment volume is very much your fault. If my experience is anything to go by, readers learn so much here that they end up concluding, usually correctly, that they have nothing to add.

    I was glad to see, from the other thread, the good news of your new child and your career. I’ve just now, at the ripe old age of 32, began my undergraduate studies in astrophysics. God willing, in a few years I’ll be able to read your professional work!

  5. Hi Alat,

    That’s great. We’re slowly taking over.

    However, if you’re considering astrophysics as a career, I recommend concentrating heavily on physics as an undergraduate and waiting to learn most of the astronomy in graduate school. Most of the practicing astrophysicists I know did this. In fact many of us didn’t take any astronomy classes, but were trained as physicists and picked up the astronomy as we worked on our research projects (and, in my case, actually teaching astronomy classes I never took).

    Anyway, I’d recommend an undergraduate positioning himself for graduate research in astrophysics should take
    * all the core physics classes for a physics major: classical mechanics 1 & 2, electromagnetism 1 & 2, quantum mechanics 1 & 2, and thermal physics/statistical mechanics.
    * all the required math classes for that: multivariable calculus, differential equations, linear algebra
    * two upper-undergraduate level astronomy classes, at the level of Carroll & Ostlie’s “Modern Astrophysics”
    * a short one-credit computer programming class, using C, C++, or Fortran

  6. Quality, not quantity, Bonald. But Stalin once said that quantity has a quality all of itself.

  7. Thanks for your tips, Bonald, I’ll take them to heart.

    At my age, my motivation is mainly personal improvement – it’s one of the things I’ve planned “for my retirement”, but circumstances have allowed me to try doing it a lot earlier. I’m still working in my original field, where I’m considerably successful for my age, now with flexible hours (of course), but if the quantity or quality of my work should fall appreciably, I won’t be allowed to finish the degree.

    I do intend to take a thorough approach, as you rightly suggest, but ultimately which courses I’ll take (and when) will depend on time constraints. I don’t think I’ll be able to switch careers, but I don’t rule it out either if the right opportunities arise. I guess I’ll just have to see how it goes.

    Thanks again, and keep up the good work!

  8. I have nothing to add to this.

  9. Hi Alat,

    Well, if it’s mainly for personal interest, E & M II and Quantum II would be overkill. I’m more accustomed to giving advice to young undergrads who want to be astronomers, you see. Most of those that stay in physics end up in a more practical field (where the money and jobs are), and those that go on to do astronomy will find that their physics courses did more to prepare them. To understand the upper undergraduate-level astro courses, you’d mostly need the 3-semester introductory physics sequence, maybe a thermal physics class, and maybe a classical mechanics class. The official prerequisites would give you a better idea though.

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