To: "INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: Re: Ref: Exposure D Wind / People In Authority, etc.
From: Peter Higgins <JillHiggins(--nospam--at)compuserve.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 14:44:02 -0400
Charles, Charles, Charles
Are you sure one of your ancestors wasn't a guy named Don Quixote? Do you
have an irresistable urge to crash your car into any windmill you see? Do
you pack heat in the form of a rusted twisted sword (or S&W which hasn't
seen an oiling in a generation)? If so, you're forgiven - it's genetic.
The minute any leadership forgets that they're servants of their
membership, they lose the moral authority to speak for the organization.
And it isn't long before persons outside the organization realize it.
Witness proud SEAOC, now relegated to second tier status at any code
hearings these days. It won't be long before we're hanging about with the
bottom feeders of the process. Why? For the simple reason we write rotten
code (witness the rho thread - one of our sterling contributions to the
code, and there's a bunch of others equally ridiculous). Why do we write
rotten code? Don't know exactly, but I notice that many persons on the
committees these days are not true EOR's. Some are regulators who never had
record level responsibilities in their carreers. Some are "analysts" who
spend their carreers advising clients on the merits of other engineers
designs (I do not call them "peers" since they do not enjoy this statis by
virtue of not having regularly served as EOR's in their own right). Others
are academics who have no idea of what it is like to confront a clean sheet
of paper and execute a design from scratch. Look at old Blue Books and
study their rosters. The committees were dominated by active designers.
They wrote simple, no nonsense, easy to use code because they knew they
would have to actually use what they were writing.
SEAOC's specifications were good in the past primarily because they were
written by actively practising engineers for actively practising engineers.
I've given up on SEAOC as a viable entitiy. Hopefully, ASCE's Structural
Institute will replace it. At least I find a higher proportion of active
designers on their rosters.
Our own organization no longer serves its members and is in disorder
because of it. When we return to our original purpose of being an
organization of active designers working for the benefit of active
designers, we will regain our moral authority to speak for the profession.
Peter Higgins, SE