In a message dated 6/11/99 11:32:07 AM Pacific Daylight Time, csh(--nospam--at)soha.com
<< Although seminar proceedings do not account for a substantial part of
seminar revenue, if one gets the proceeding for a nominal fee there is no
need to attend the seminar and you lose susbstantial revenue that way. >>
Constantine, with all due respect, this is a very counter productive way to
treat a profession where only a small minority of members attend seminars.
When you consider the total number of professional engineers in the
structural engineering community, 200 attendance still represents less than
15% of SEAONC's total members.
If you have 400 in attendance - it still represents less than 30% of the
total members and this is a much smaller percentage of the total number of
licensed engineers in your area of the State of California.
Your statement, as I interpret it, indicates that SEAONC (or any other
chapter that subscribes to this philosophy) intends to provide useful
information but only to those who can either afford the cost or time to
attend. All others, who benifit from a better understanding of the
information to design safer buildings, will pay a premium or contend with
misinterpretations of the code. The premium is a protection to insure
physical participation at the seminar rather than the same level of
understanding achieved at the engineers convience or in the privacy of his
home or office.
I'm not trying to flame you here - but can't you see how your statement can
easily be interpretated. Carrying if further one can understand that dues
become unimportant as long as SEAONC (or any other chapter subscribing to
this philosophy) can "gouge" the professional public.
My philosophy has been to provide a service to engineers which brings them
into the 21st century and provides them with the tools that either should
have been included in the cost of the code manuals that they need to buy or
suplimented at a nominal fee.
I personally receive some compensation for my work with Online. I did not
receive this compensation for six years - but the amount of time that I spend
to put out an issue requires me to give up income in order to insure a
publication schedule. If there were enough volunteers to carry this through,
I would not need the compensations.
My point is that almost none of the committee members (none that I know of)
provide their services for compensation. I don't think that the founding
engineers of SEA came together to create revenue. I do believe that operating
expenses were expected to come from dues and other sources of grants and
In the last few years most organizations have changed the basic idea of what
a professional organization is to provide the community. The only thing that
seems to be free to engineers these days is the SEAINT Listservice and this
is protected by adament engineers like Shafat and I.
Engineers are not an unlimited resource for income. There are too many
organizations competing for our membership, too many seminars competing (and
not enough with substance), too many professional gatherings and publication
and journals - all available at a price.
When you pay $80.00 for a code, it should come with a commentary or it should
be sold bundled. The software industry has set a poor example of selling
softwares and manuals to operate their software at additional prices.
Let's get one thing clear - I'm not trying to stop the sale or distribution
of alternative documentation. But for every code published that requires a
methodology - there must be an accompanying commentary or manual explaining
the changes and clearly giving examples of how this works. I do not believe
that the engineering community should have to pay more for this.
I was one of the engineers who checked the Steel problem in Volume II of the
ICBO Seismic Example Manuals - without compensation. This is purely a profit
Constantine, if the price of documentation or proceedings are
disproportionally inflated to force physical attendence - then I would
recommend that nobody attend the seminar out of respect for those who are not
able for any number of reasons.
Dennis S. Wish PE