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RE: SEAOC seismology opinion ...

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Charles:

You have made useful (and largely on-target) observations concerning 
the dangers of groupthink, etc.  I also find the present 
code-development process frustrating.  (Proverb: "Expectation 
postponed is making the heart sick.)  However, I believe that you may 
have overpersonalized the flaws in the process.

Based on important legal definitions, you've also misapplied a 
statement I made.  You wrote:

>         And taking into account the "haste makes waste, but we don't care"
> excuse already admitted to in another message on this topic in the last 24
> hours (an admission of prima facie negligence, and that only appeared in the
> open as a result of the contentiousness you deplore) to wit:
>         "Many code problems arise because too much work is left to too few 
> volunteers with too little time."

The pertinent legal definitions are:
prima facie evidence-Evidence that would if uncontested establish a 
fact or raise a presumption of a fact.
negligence-The omission or neglect of reasonable precaution, care, or 
action.

I grant you the truism that "haste makes waste".  We 
designers should avoid waste, but the Code does not claim to prevent 
"waste".  Also, I did not indicate that "we don't care".  In fact, my 
point was that the individuals who CARE (and there are far too 
few of them), PARTICIPATE.  [Consider this listservice as evidence of 
the latter.  About 15000 people listen, a few score participate, and 
Dennis reports that fewer than 10 are willing to do any real work.]

I noted that "code problems arise".  Many of these problems are a 
lack of clarity; a few are errors.  However, as Kardon's "The 
Structural Engineer's Standard of Care" discusses, there is a 
significant difference between non-negligent and negligent error.

Generally the individuals involved in codewriting are quite 
conscientious.  They do exercise "reasonable precaution, care, or 
action" and thus are not negligent.  Many such volunteers exercise 
TOO MUCH care and action; their businesses (and/or family lives) 
suffer as a result.  

My contention is that many practicing engineers 'omit or neglect 
reasonable care and action' in the code process; in terms of 
code-development, they are negligent.

Griping is the first step; it is evidence of reasonable CARE.  
However, to avoid negligence, reasonable ACTION is also required.

-Mike

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Michael Valley                                   E-mail: mtv(--nospam--at)skilling.com
Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire Inc.                  Tel:(206)292-1200
1301 Fifth Ave, #3200,  Seattle  WA 98101-2699          Fax:        -1201