Subject: Re: Seismic Upgrade ..... Appeal to those who created the code
From: "Barry H. Welliver" <wellive(--nospam--at)ibm.net>
Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 08:15:42 -0600
Charles Greenlaw wrote:
Thank you Charles for yet another concise weighing of viewpoints.There seem to be
"issues" which require our attentions and if this isn't one of them, I don't know
> First, my support for Dennis in his call (in effect) for vigorous, pointed,
> ungrateful, and divisive protest. This form of "code change reversal"
> campaigning came of age in my generation in dealing with the Vietnam War,
> after an earlier generation brought down the US Constitution's Prohibition
> of alcoholic beverages. Let the Seismology Committee and ICBO take some
> heat for their own policy-making's outcomes, like their counterparts in the
> past have.
I'll agree and go on to say the "defense" required would (should) include healthy
statements about the history of the provision. This tool we use called the
internet can drill wonderful holes into information, but just as in oil
exploration, you need to know where to stick your browser (so to speak). The "lost
arguments and defense" that Rick R. alludes to need to be resurrected. I for one,
would urge this code process into an electronic era such that those interested
don't have to rely upon the happenstance of visitors eyeballs to get information
to help make informed opinions.
> Next, the giant flaw in the code process that Rick's account reveals: It is
> a political power game. (Go ahead and read it again. If you deleted it, look
> it up in the website's archives.) It is about advancing YOUR BABY all the
> way to a gold medal, having encountered and overcome all the hurdles along
> the way. Rick's call for more participation is a call to join in on the
> gaming, to make it yet more satisfying a challenge. Complaining later
> however is regarded in these circles much like a low blow after the bell is
> in boxing.
Perhaps our best challenge is to live in the real world and deal with our "real"
problems. They call us a hybrid people, part scientist, part pragmatist, and our
image is one of problem solver. We don't like it when the allowable shear in a
wood beam is soooo close, yet the numbers fail, so we build a beam seat or use
other imaginative means to overcome our dilemma. We say we dislike the world of
politics, or at least the roadway traveled by compromise. The justice isn't pure
enough we shout. We can judge others fairly quickly, and stereotype to our hearts
content, but we move little from our spot in the world. So it is that those who
are working in the field of public opinion need to sift through the emotions of
issues and be focused on changes needed in the way we do things. All this rambling
leads to what we already know.. Thickened skin, clarity of opinion, and desire to
solve some problems are some of the expanded requirements of engineering today.
snip...loved the script, you do have the rights to the movie don't you? :-)
> Who told us last year a little about what's real? Frank Lew. Sure,"Where
> are the bodies?" was a bit of dramatic license, but his point was that the
> public is not interested in gold-plated engineering content in their homes.
> But our code (ours, not theirs) now demands exactly that. Frank was a chief
> building official in some prominent California cities and counties, and an
> SE as well. He told us what wouldn't fly, codewise. I guess we'll have to
> see it all unfold like when bootleggers were in demand.
Frank's opinions are greatly missed by this observer.
> Where SEAOC failed us is in not seeing to balance in codewriting committees,
> and in not valuing and protecting dissent.
I don't recall ever seeing this on a candidates statement. It would help me decide
where I'd want to place my vote.
> Another player of residential code change hardball back then has since moved
> on to NEHRP and on to the CalTech/CUREe project direction. This person's
> presence there is in my mind cause for lack of confidence in the objectivity
> of that entire program, sorry to say. And SEAOC need not bother any longer;
> what dissent did happen was enough for the real action to be taken out of
> range and into other outfits even further removed from actual residential
> engineering practitioners.
This concerns me Charles. You've dropped a little bomb. I value your opinion, yet
I can't support your concerns because I don't know why you hold this viewpoint. I
realize it is difficult to "characterize" discontent without stepping on toes, but
honestly (and I may have missed some previous thread on this issue), I'd rather
have a basis for my questioning of motives.
> You know, if you want to regulate drinking, have a teetotaler and her
> friends in charge and only let a token drinker in. Then there will be plenty
> of rebelliousness and disobedience in the future, which in turn will prove
> how important your effort was in the first place. You win if it doesn't
> work, and you win if it does. Never mind what happens to all who lose.
> Charles O. Greenlaw SE Sacramento CA
Are we needing to be active in the code writing process? You bet. Do we have the
time for this stuff? Probably not. Life is given with the same number of hours to
each person for each week. You choose your battles. Choose them wisely.
Barry H. Welliver