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RE: Rigid plywood diaphragms

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>Potential clients and other non-professionals consented to
>hire me but never let go of the retainer without adding a comment like -
>"Engineers created this code to line their pockets and to make a living at
>the expense of the unfortunate." 

People say the same thing about pressure vessel code. One manufacturer 
called it 'a dangerous form of socialism' and another, 'an affront to 
personal liberty,' at a time (around 1910) when the US had one major 
boiler explosion a day. This was before the days of high superheats, 
large refineries and chemical plants. No one thinks about pressure vessel 
or boiler explosions any more because the code works. Putting it through 
wasn't easy, but it's paid off many times over. Building officials and 
civil engineers could learn something here. And that's where the burden 
lies: you can't expect lay people who don't know a load path from a 
career path to do anything but go for the low bid.

My (educated) guess is that insurers realized that property loss in 
explosions was becoming too much of a burden. Back then loss of life 
wasn't that much of a big deal to factory owners. Strict liability wasn't 
an issue, torts hadn't been reformed, and worker's comp didn't exist. Had 
it been otherwise, the families of the 1500+ federal troops killed when 
the Sultana's boilers blew up would have really kicked some ass. As it 
was, not even the bastard who crammed 2300 ex-POWs on a steamboat built 
for 400 did any time.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)