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- To: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
- Subject: SEAOC Committee Meetings
- From: Rick.Drake(--nospam--at)fluordaniel.com
- Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 7:41:00 -0500
Dennis Wish wrote: << The only necessity to have a physical meeting is for final organization of work that is ready for publication. >> -------------------------------- I disagree. I think there is merit to having much committee work done via electronic means, as part of the entire process. However, there are still many valid reasons for face-to-face meetings, with enough benefits to justify the costs. 1) Many of the SEAOC Committee meetings are attended by "observers" who represent other organizations with a vested interest in the matters under discussion. They make a valid contribution to the meetings by offering perspectives of ancillary industry groups. 2) Most SEAOC Committee meetings are open to the membership. I don't believe we want to deny the membership access. 3) It is very difficult to make meaningful decisions via a collection of E-mail correspondence, especially when the participants are at their office desks with all the necessary distraction of conducting the "bill-paying" business. 4) Attendance at meetings focuses the participants on the issues at hand, at least temporarily leaving the "bill-paying" business concerns aside. 5) Electronic communications can never replace the human elements necessary when an agreement must be reached. Body language, voice inflections, facial expressions, etc. cannot be replaced with electronic communications. (And no picture phones are not financially viable for most SEAOC members.) I'll use an example the recent 1997 UBC seismic provisions and the 1996 Blue Book. There was a lot of good hard work performed by the SEAOC Seismology Committee to develop the SEAOC input to these. This committee also has the interface responsibility with the 1997 NEHRP Provisions and the 2000 IBC. Much of this work was conducted at face-to-face meetings where differences were aired and compromises were reached. I don't believe that their mission could have been completed in a timely manner if only electronic communication was used. Observers and SEAOC members also participated at these meetings. I was able to attend two of these meetings as a SEAOC member and was able to educate myself on how the committee works. More importantly, I was able to learn firsthand about the changes in the works. As a result, the new provisions in the 1997 UBC were not a surprise to me. Hopefully, we can reach a balance on committee work between the electronic communication and the "face-to-face" meetings. To say that it must be all one way or the other is not being very objective. I patiently wait for the scathing Dennis Wish rebuttal(s). Rick Drake, SE Fluor Daniel, Irvine
- RE: SEAOC Committee Meetings
- From: Dennis S. Wish
- RE: SEAOC Committee Meetings
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