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Re: '97 UBC Design - Are you too old to change your ways???

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Bill,
You may have forgotten that SEA is not the only professional organization 
interested in the developement of codes. From and individual position, 
members of seismology and other committees are not the only resources that 
are available. The whole idea of the Virtual community - although still in 
the infancy - becomes the new source of available resources.
If we analyize the typical committee member - it is generally one individual 
who has the financial support to trade work time for professional community 
service. He may be self-employed (and thus self-sacrificing without 
compensation) or managment in a company that can deligate his or her 
responsiblities to other. As is a common case, he or she works for a large 
company who benifits greatly down the road from the envolvement of their 
efforts in the development of policy from the structural engineering 
community.
Others include municipal employees - who, when I participated in Los Angeles, 
were not members of SEA but were members of the committees. 
We don't see individuals within firms who are not designated to participate 
by their employers (however, most are encouraged to become dues paying 
members), self-employed who have other obligations and can not justify the 
time.

But, how about a great number of engineers outside of the metropolitan areas 
- further than say 20 miles from a local chapter, who can not participate due 
to geographic constraints. These professionals may actually make up the 
untapped majority of licensed individuals.

My point is that as long as we in the virtual community can create the tools 
and foster an education process to productivly use these tools in combination 
with traditional methods, we can promise to increase the volunteer base by 
those who have not had the oportunity in the past.

Following the same prinicpal - by taking away the geographic constraint, we 
need to break down the inter-professional-affiliations that separate 
organizations. There has, as was once explained by Rawn Nelson, a great 
stride made in this area to foster aliances to work together on common goals. 
This is admirable but needs more exposure to those of us who are not aware of 
these aliances. We need to know what is being done and how we can participate.

I think that your comments, although accurate as to the existing committee 
structure, would be more optimistic and possibly more willing to tolerate 
loss of inflexible members in lieu of acceptance of new possibilities through 
the use of modern technology.

I would agree that ideally, no volunteer is expendible. However, it must be 
considered when the inflexible volunteer stands in the way of progress or 
attempts to retard development.

Dennis

In a message dated 9/24/1999 7:48:12 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
Bill(--nospam--at)AllenDesigns.com writes:

<< As I have stated before, I know there is no benefit for criticizing the 
code
 authors for the problems in the 1997 UBC. If all we do is criticize them,
 they will stop volunteering to do this thankless job then where would we be?
 The unfortunate part is that we have lost the dynamics of the interaction of
 administration, research and practice in a time where the rest of the world
 is becoming more dynamic. The crime here is that there are few (if any)
 opportunities to edit and embellish code language for whatever reason
 including the application of common sense. I sit here at my desk and can
 only dream how nice it would be if someone like SEAOC (who else?)
 could/would publish something like the "Masonry Chronicles" that would
 assist design engineers, plan check engineers alike (IMO, the 1997 UBC is a
 wonderful tool for the expert witness) to design and build safe and logical
 structures as well as to help foster an environment where we can still
 afford to practice this profession (i.e., KISS). >>