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RE: Non Professionals doing Engineering

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I never thought that computers would cause a lot trouble to Civil Engineers.
So why are the other scientific communities flourishing in or should I say
surviving the computer age?  They might have faced the same problems but
looking at how they are doing now they surely were able to tackle the
culprit and stayed on top of it all.  I believe computers can be likened to
a car - you have to know how it works before you can use and fix it with
total ease but you need not know how it works so you can be able to learn
how to drive it.  Confidence is the word not trust and patience is a virtue.
So why am I computing equations on this damned sheet of paper, yet I have my
old rusty college days calculator with me which I cannot throw to the trash
box?  Sentimentality perhaps, na, they go hand in hand always - paper, pen,
and calculator, and helped each other like brothers.
Sometimes, we too, have to cope up with change...
> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Phil Hodge [SMTP:phil(--nospam--at)joistdesign.com]
> Sent:	Sunday, January 24, 1999 11:31 PM
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject:	Re: Non Professionals doing Engineering
> 
> I starting working/playing with computers almost 40 years ago, and one of
> my early lessons has served me well over the years: 
> 
> Never believe the computer unless you already know the answer. 
> 
> Too many people, not just structural engineers, blindly trust this box
> full of melted sand and copper wire, without understanding it.  "I can't
> help you, the computer's down", "The computer must have made a mistake",
> Jim's quote, etc. 
> 
> Computers, like many other tools over the years, do two things:  They
> allow us to accomplish more with the same amount of time; and/or they
> allow other less skilled people to do what we used to do.  And like any
> other change, that can be good or bad, depending how it is applied.  The
> art of calligraphy was largely lost when Gutenberg did his thing, but
> books became widely available.  People became weaker when the wheel was
> invented, but they could do more.  Much original design was lost when
> assembly lines were adapted to manufacture, but goods became more widely
> available. 
> 
> We've learned, hopefully, that it is counter-productive to try to stand in
> the way of progress, all we can attempt to do is adapt and manage it.
> Good luck to us all. 
> 
> Phil Hodge 
> phil(--nospam--at)joistdesign.com
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