To: "SEAINT Listservice" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: Note from Dennis Wish - resignation from SEA and List
From: "Dennis S. Wish" <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)gte.net>
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 20:15:55 -0700
To all of my friends on the SEA International Listservice:
It is with serious thought and great trepidation that I announce that I will
no longer be supporting SEA as a paid member. I have also decided - at least
for the immediate future - to unsubscribe from the Listservice.
I recently launched a website (see the last part of this message) devoted to
residential construction which will require a great deal of time to get up
and running. My goal is to begin educating the public and uniting
professionals - something I believe is not possible with SEA or NAHB.
Resignation from SEA
I have had strong differences of opinion with the policy makers of SEAOC. I
feel that the problems, known by most members, are insurmountable.
It is now just about one year since the '97 UBC was adopted and, in my
opinion, virtually nothing has been accomplished. The lack of interest by
other than a very small percentage of the dues paying members is assumed
approval of the actions of SEAoSC an SEAOC policy makers and seismology
committee. I personally believe that our dues are our only real means left
to demonstrate dissatisfaction by those unwilling to voice an opinion. I can
not, in fair conscience, continue to support an organization that does not
represent small office design needs or protect us from potential litigations
caused by ambiguities in their work.
I've spent a great many years volunteering my efforts for what I believed to
be for the good of our profession. Shafat and I were one of the first to see
the technical importance of the Internet to our profession. SEAOSC had the
foresight supported our conviction by the purchase of the hardware. I am
pleased to have been a partner in the development of the List and Web and
will leave that as my legacy.
The Internet tools we have established are one of the potentially useful
means to overcome the growing financial demand on those involved in the
development of the IBC. I have great doubts that these tools will ever be
used to their full advantage as they need the support and involvement of the
SEA membership to achieve their maximum performance benefits.
I believe that the Listservice has come as far as it can without support and
interaction from committee members and policy makers. As a founder of
SEAINT, it was my intent to create a platform that would encourage other
organizations to share their work. I am convinced at this was an unrealistic
idealism and opponents are not willing to give up ground on the issues.
I am also disappointed that the Lurkers on this List, who represent the
majority of subscribers, allow their ambivalence to addressing important
issues be used as a vote of acceptance to the position of those in power. I
receive many private messages from those with strong opinions who simply do
not want to make them public. I appreciate the confidence, but private
confessions will do little to improve our profession.
Policy makers thrive on silence as it is used to imply agreement or full
support. If you are not willing to voice an opinion, consider your dues as a
private way to demonstrate your support or dissatisfaction. Blindly renewing
membership retards the growth of our profession and signifies approval to
those who represent us.
Residential Construction methodology
My decision was influenced considerably by the recent posts from Peter
Higgins and Chuck Greenlaw. Chucks comments hit home hard after three e-mail
posts with Jay Crandell of NAHB to suggest that we start by raising the
Conventional Framing standard while engineers work on simplifying the
residential design methods ended in the age old pissing contest - engineer
against builder. This argument confirmed that the Residential Structural
Design Guide, as well written as it is, only iterates known problems and
does little to suggest responsible solutions. If neither side is willing to
sit down and discuss the problems then this document will remain a vessel of
The last year has been one of deep frustration for me. It has been a year of
tolerance - waiting for wrongs to be corrected. However, almost a year
later, the difficulties of correcting errors in the code process solidifies
ambiguities and known errors to become a basis for design and acceptance of
building offials. Mostly, the discontinuity between prescriptive and
engineered solutions grows much larger as do the probability of increased
lessening of performance of low and middle income homes. I can not, in good
conscience financially support this manner of thinking.
A debt of gratitude
There are many on this list I would like to commend - but I would miss many
who deserve recognition. I wish to simply state my appreciation to all of
you who have made this listservice what it is today. Don't let anyone fool
you - setting up and maintaining hardware does not make a Listservice. The
success of this list would not be possible without the vocal minority -
those of you who have spent so much time helping others and sharing your
opinions. You members of the Listservice have made me a better engineer and
you have my gratitude.
My website is www.structuralist.net and will, buy July, have the
professional site up and running. Here you will find many of the types of
activities I enjoyed when writing SEAINT Online including software reviews,
tutorials, and software development. Not all of it will be free, as I hope
to be able to generate enough income to cover my time to maintain and add to
I also intend to continue to developed a commercial version of our public
domain Lateral Design Spreadsheet. The Public Domain spreadsheet will always
remain free and I hope many of you will join Dave Merrick in extending it's
capabilities. I have joined up with a local friend, Structural Engineer
Bronze Young, who will be rewriting the rigid diaphragm sections that David
had worked on. I have agreed never to profit from the work of those who
volunteered time and efforts on the Lateral Design Spreadsheet.
I have considered this professional community as my family and my friends
and I wish each and every one of you my warmest regards.
Dennis S. Wish, PE
Structural Engineering Consultant
(208) 361-5447 E-Fax