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RE: Re: Appropriateness

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Again, I can't argue with solid thinking. I hope those who are lurking in
the shadows can think seriously about Richard's comments - they appear valid
to me.

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

|-----Original Message-----
|From: Richard Lewis [mailto:rlewis(--nospam--at)]
|Sent: Thursday, March 19, 1998 6:46 AM
|To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
|Subject: Re: Re: Appropriateness
|Dennis Wish  writes:
|Nigel, you asked "Are we really all that thin-skinned that we can't ignore
|remark we don't like, or jump into the middle of it to say why we don't? "
|Unfortunatly, the answer is yes.
|Approximately thirty individuals make up the majority of comments that
|proliferate our list. However, the resounding majority of those 150
|individuals who responded to my survey felt that they were unable to do any
|more than "Lurk" simply because of the strong opinions and fear of being
|challenged by others who may not agree.
|I, personally, don't feel that the tone or commentary on this list should
|moderated, but I must admit from these many responses that a large group of
|professionals, for whatever reason, are reluctant to participate.
|My Reply:
|Dennis, you truly are a man of compassion.  And I mean that sincerely, not
|jest.  And I appreciate that.  But I have a different opinion on this.
|my experience, someone who is in a shell, is afraid to participate for
|whatever reason in any kind of forum, cannot be pulled out without exerting
|extreme effort.  And usually that extreme effort hinders whatever you were
|trying to get them involved in.  If someone is "insecure", and I use that
|lack of a better word at this time, about there engineering abilities then
|are not going to be able to get them to participate, because they do not
|to take the risk of exposing themselves.  Let me use myself as an example.
|There are some subjects on this list I will not respond to because I am
|"insecure" in my abilities.  I have not, and probably will not, answer a
|question regarding seismic design.  I come from an area of the country that
|does not require it so I am not that proficient in it.  However, I have
|learned invaluable information about it by "lurking" in the background on
|this subject.  In areas I feel proficient in I am more than happy to enter
|in.  But some people, due to their personality, will never be able to
|Dennis Wish  writes:
|I like the ablity to debate and express strong opinons. There are times,
|such as Bill's recent comments where I half-heartedly commented that I
|wouldn't touch the argument with a ten foot pole, and probably, feared
|starting a civil war and succumbing  the wrath of the Conservative Right.
|Drew's comments were the words of intellegent and professional reason. For
|the sake of those who have not had their chance to step upon this public
|soapbox, I recommend that we stay away from Politics and Religion for a
|until we build upon a number of contributers that will dilute the arena a
|Rather than focus on Politics, let's start productive questions, albeit
|social ones, that drive our profession and encourage new voices to speak.
|My Reply:
|I agree this listservers main purpose is to serve the engineering
|But politics has an influence in many areas of our engineering business.
|we not able to express our opinion on government regulations which dictate
|what we are to do and what we are liable for just because the politicians
|invoked them?  Engineering in general is opinionated.  You design
|from me because in your opinion it is the best way.  Extending our opinions
|beyond engineering is natural.
|To be honest, I do not remember what started this thread, not this one
|specifically, but the one Bill Allen responded to.  I only save the email I
|feel will be beneficial to me in the future and erase the rest so that
|was recycled into different "zeros and ones".  I do remember Stan "baited"
|Bill  :o)  but somehow politics got woven into the original thread.  Hey,
|happens in ever day conversation.  The difficulty is the email is taken out
|of context because we can not read the body language behind it.  I'm not
|I know where I am going here but to summarize, government is part of our
|everyday lives, affects us everyday, so why should it be taboo on the list
|We cry for tolerance.  What we really cry for is you be tolerant of me, but
|don't want to listen to you.  Bill expressed an "opinion" and he was
|criticized as if he were stating a fact.  He was only speculating, like the
|rest of us do ever day.
|To those lukers in the background, I find this list server to be
|I spend about 30 minutes a day reading mail and I believe it is time well
|spent.  I learn an awful lot from the people who ask questions and those
|respond.  I benefit also from the response I get to my questions.  I
|appreciate all who participate.
|Richard Lewis, P.E.
|Missionary TECH Team
|The service mission like-minded Christian organizations
|may turn to for technical assistance and know-how.