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RE: Entire Engineering Community Freaking Out?

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Just for the record for those who might have misunderstood - I did not write
the post to critise Kariotis, but to voice my concern over the media.
Certainly after you updated me on his actual quote, I find nothing damaging
or misconstrued.
I do agree with your comments with one reservation. It has been very
difficult to provide good engineering to clients who are only concerned
about the bottom dollar. They try to dictate their dissatisfaction with
forced mitigation programs from the start - which makes our relationship
with them advesarial at best.
When the media reports that "Scientists ease off earthquake fears" as was
the case in article by Jane E. Allen which appeared in this mornings Desert
Sun Newspaper(which I believe was in the L.A. Times yesterday), the public
will interpret only what they wish to believe. Imagine those URM owners who
are now angry that the "engineering profession rushed to judgement and cost
them millions to retrofit a building based upon incorrect information". I
know this sounds outrageous, especially subsequent to Northridge, Whittier
Narrows and Loma Prieta which suffered extensive URM damage and proved that
hazard mitigation programs do work and protected the public from injury.
Instead of interpreting this as a good sign and knowing that we have done
what is required - when the time does come for a large magnitude quake - to
protect the safety of the public, I'll wait to see when the first law suite
is filed against the city of Los Angeles for instituting a Hazard Mitigation
Program before the state adopted it and based upon unproven or incorrect
facts. Sound absurd - probably is, but some will want retrobution.
I suppose it is true that (as you stated) "Most people don't absorb the
details, they just recall the general drift of an article or an issue.
Second, the credibility of news reporting is already so suspect that it no
longer merits minor corrections or clarifications."
IMHO, although the credibility of the media is vastly questionable, people
still flock to it fight over only the facts that are presented in print or
on Television. The meat of the issue may be thown out with the fat and all
that is left is the thin skin - just an skim off the truth that lies below.
Personally, I really don't need another media blitz to defend my profession
or the efforts to save lives - it just isn't productive.
Thanks for clearing this up - I'll make sure that those who read my comments
don't misinterpret my intentions.

Dennis Wish PE

"Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy
for the worst of them all- the apathy of human beings."
Helen Keller