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Online - response to Ernie Natividad

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Ernie,
This is very aptly put and I would be pleased to support this 
concept. As long as we, as a collective society of professional 
engineers, admit that there are no limits to our abilities we 
can work to allow for the availability of reference information 
and make it available to engineers around the world. The purpose 
of Online was to provide the community the skills necessary to 
become a member of our professional list and get those not yet 
online connected. Online, for those not familiar, offered 
software reviews, Tips and Tricks for creative uses of 
engineering software, tutorials for spreadsheet and CAD as well 
as Home Alone - an article devoted to the sometimes humorous 
side of working at home.
The differences that have been debated here have to do with my 
perceived direction that Online should take. I have been writing 
Online and have been the chief contributor for over six years. 
Until we moved the journal to state control, I had received a 
great degree of support from the southern chapter board of 
directors. Recently there has been an issue of censorship by the 
state board as to what is and what is not appropriate to carry 
the SEAOC name on it. They could be right, but then again, they 
could be simply retarding the evolution of our profession.
I was hoping that Online would continue and that the next step 
in the evolutionary process was to deviate from the idea of a 
computer related journal. I felt that Online should take the 
debates and issues discussed on this List and bring them to 9000 
members of SEA's across the country that we distribute issues 
to. However, with the creation of a review committee to review 
what the Computer Applications Committee already reviews is an 
attempt to stop SEAOC Online from publishing articles that SEAOC 
does not deem appropriate.
The appropriateness of the articles should be voiced by the 
membership rather than by a small group of engineers that do not 
necessarily represent the Listservice community - in fact, very 
few of the review committee members or the board are online or 
understand the importance of what we have created.
With the distribution of the Listservice discussion to those not 
connected would create three advancements. First, It would 
increase the number of engineers who become literate enough to 
participate in our List. Second, it will expand the discussions 
and debates outside the electronic community so that the current 
board members of each chapter are more closely in touch with the 
opinions of the members. Third, it will make stronger demands 
upon future board members to be listservice literate and 
accessible to those online.
So, Ernie, the idea's that you propose are absolutely essential, 
but we are still too small a representative voice within the 
total professional community. We need to incite the non-literate 
segment of our professional and get them to participate. It is 
so much easier to consider forwarding a list discussion to those 
that can use the information at a committee or state board level 
than it is to expect each of us to sit down and write a long 
letter (something I've developed a knack for).
Please support the hard copy of SEAOC Online and demand that 
they publish the issues from this list and continue to build 
national distribution. This is the only way we will unite all 
engineers.
Finally, and possibly most important, SEAOC sends enough issues 
to state chapters for distribution to their members, we find 
that these issues are often not distributed by end up sitting in 
the SEA chapter office. We need stricter control over assuring 
that issues of SEAOC Online gets in the hands of the membership 
as does the local chapters newsletter.
There is a lot of work to do and each of you is an important 
part of this drive.
Sincerely
Dennis S. Wish PE