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Herb Is Still Right

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Note:  I posted this earlier today, just as our corporate email system
crashed.  Therefore, here is my second attempt.  If you receive it
twice, please accept my humble apology ... SRC


The SEAoC Listserv has hosted numerous threads discussing the
frustrations of our profession.  Darts have frequently been thrown at
other engineers, bottom-feeders, architects, contractors, developers,
manufacturers and materials suppliers, software developers, building
officials, lawmakers, government officials and agencies, code officials
and agencies, SEAoC, ASCE, CELSOC, BORPELS, anyone outside of
California, and the ever-popular "them" and "they".  I have thrown my
share of darts from time to time.  Recently, however, I came upon the
following quotation which helps to put structural engineering in a
proper perspective: 
>"Ours is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment
>of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then
>it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and
>homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the
>comforts of life. That is the engineer's high privilege.
>"The great liability of the engineer compared to ? other professions is that
>his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step,
>are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like doctors.
>He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He
>cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He
>cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcoming by blaming his opponents
>and hoping that the people will forget.
"On the other hand, unlike the doctor, his is not a life among the weak.
> Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer,
>quarrels are not his daily bread. To the engineer falls the job of clothing
>the bare bones of science with life, comfort and hope. No doubt, as years go
>by, people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew ? But the
>engineer himself looks back at the unending stream of goodness which flows
>from his successes with satisfaction that few professionals may know."

... Herbert C. Hoover, Engineer and 31st U.S. President

Isn't it a shame that we don't have a President with this sort of wisdom
and integrity today.  Oops, I guess that was yet another dart! {;^>

Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas