You received some interesting comments. Here is mine. Said politely, it
has almost always worked for me.
When somebody tells me, a certain design has always worked for him and
others before him, I have a standard response.
We design structures to UBC Code (or other as the case may be). Most
structures are designed to a seismic event which has a return frequency of
approximately 500 years. That earthquake may come tonight, or it may come
after say 1000 years. Statistically, though, the average return frequency
is supposed to be 500 years. Then, I will point out, "you have not been
around 500 years, and others you have known have not been around 500 years".
When that design event happens, we will know the truth and hopefully find
out who was right if we survive that event. We, structural engineers have
to go by the design code and a code of ethics for public safety. Conveyed
in a polite, decent manner, the customer gets the idea. At least that is
what I hope.
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com