Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: Disaster dilemma

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
wish wrote:

> Bull!
> Sorry Frank, but if you feel that the use of the list is simpy to stand on a
> soap box and vocalize, you have condemned thousands of engineers from doing
> more than pissing into the wind. Sorry about my vernacular, but many of the
> list members are not of equal means - with employers who pay for our time
> off, offer travel expense and living subsidies to attend meetings and
> conventions. Many of us are up to our neck in work to feed our families and
> put a roof over our heads.

I'm with you Dennis, but the dedicated employers who allow time off for meetings
contribute out of their pockets as should self employed. I don't think this is
the most important point to dwell on. Sure, it's difficult to be short on means
to be able to attend meetings and such but the ability to find a way to
influence decisions that affect our well being is key. I carry your thoughts and
words with me Dennis. I think about the things I read on this list, I try to use
as many resources as possible to form my opinions... and I am able to attend
some meetings here in Utah. I feel the connection (network) with this list is
vital and while I may not be what you call a mover and shaker I carry my little
voice to occasional meetings and work for issues I feel strongly about.

> It's very unfair to judge the quaility of one's involvment by physical
> presence in a time where a new invention such as the list provides a means
> for those who can not physically attend and still have an opinion. So you
> negate any professional who can't stand in front of your face and say the
> same words that he can write on the net.

Perhaps you read too deeply into Frank's comments. I think if you watch the
political process you see that it is sometimes hugely unfair. And being there IS
an important influence upon those that make decisions. I see the argument about
having INFORMED persons attending these meetings with well considered opinions
which reflect actual cross sectional thinking.

> Bill Allen was being cynical for just this reason. It's the same as needing
> a reader for a book because your too blind to read it yourself.

I like this analogy. Just consider the handicap. Perhaps we don't like to be
handicapped but when we are we find many other ways to contribute.

> The rhetoric makes sense, not the expense to do it in person. If those that
> weigh the needs of the community can't evaluate a letter, post, or other
> forms of written communication, we have no hope.
> Sure, personal visits might be nice, but for many, it's not practical.
> Finally, if SEA, NCSEA, ASCE, CELSOC and the other professional
> organizations can only meet the needs of those that attend the meetings and
> dinners, they don't need my support since I no longer have a voice.
> Dennis Wish PE
> -----Original Message-----
> From: FLew98 <FLew98(--nospam--at)>
> To: seaoc(--nospam--at) <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
> Date: Saturday, January 24, 1998 2:12 PM
> Subject: Re: Disaster dilemma
> >In a message dated 98-01-24 14:20:52 EST, Bill Warren wrote:
> >
> >> Those advising to "GET INVOLVED" do request more of you, and
> >> more of us all....   maintaining our profession is hard work, yes,
> >> Dennis you have to do more, as well as all of us.
> >
> >Well said, Bill!  But you let some folks off too easily.  Even those who
> are
> >'geographically impaired' need to make some effort to participate in person
> on
> >committees and other professional forums and events.
> >
> >Teleconferencing, e-mail and the Net may someday produce a new paradigm for
> >group participation and committee work.  But at least for now, that
> approach
> >is just too cumbersome to use to arrive at decisions/consensus, and to
> produce
> >deliverables and products that have wide acceptance by standards
> >organizations, government agencies and law and policy makers.
> Participation
> >means more than getting on a soapbox and orating.  That's easy, especially
> in
> >this cyberspace era, but as Bill Allen noted in an earlier posting on this
> >thread, "Well, this has been another productive thread. What have we
> >accomplished?".  The answer is, very little.  Participation requires some
> >sacrifices in time, energy, and sometimes $$ in out-of-pocket expenses and
> >lost fee opportunities.  And just paying dues to professional organizations
> >isn't enough.  That's akin to checkbook philanthropy, which is great but
> not
> >enough.  Organizations, whether charitable or professional, do need the
> >financial support, but just as importantly, they benefit immensely from the
> >time contributions and actual involvement of donors.  And the donors
> benefit
> >much more, too.
> >
> >Frank Lew, SE
> >Orinda, CA

I dare say that both these individuals have contributed immensely to our
professional organizations. If we acknowledge our needs, we should find ways to
make things happen. Perhaps with the immediacy of this communication forum, we
get caught up in the lack of immediate results. Revolution changes things
quickly. What we have here is not a revolution necessarily, but a growing
community of support for action. Our patience and persistence can and will
result in changes. We need to find the way.

Barry H. Welliver