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Re: 6.2+ earthquake in Seattle

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Monty, I don't disagree with you in the slightest.  I'm frustrated at the 
"realities" of such decisions.  Each party has a different viewpoint and a 
different *primary* objective.  We all need to make a living to survive but 
engineers, being the conservative people that we (typically) are, tend to put 
safety above profit, whereas some other unnamed parties lean the other way.  
Hopefully they all balance out, but of course in some instances they don't.  
I do a lot of residential earthquake strengthening design in the Bay Area and 
always council my clients that they may spend a lot of money on strengthening 
that's "wasted" if we don't have a significant earthquake during their 
ownership of the house.  On the other hand we may have another 1906 tomorrow 
and only a few of us will be prepared. 


In a message dated 2/28/01 8:51:43 PM, montyh(--nospam--at) writes:

<< Ralph-

I understand your point and I am certainly not being critical of you.
Unfortunately, I live with those same pressures everyday, just as you do.  To 
developer, owner or contractor, nothing ever fails and nothing ever will.  The
challenge for me is to avoid thinking the way they do.  If I start doing 
that, who
is going to protect the occupants of the buildings that I design.

With regard to the building where your recommendations were not followed 20 
ago;  My only question is......would you have wanted your mother, wife or 
to be working there everyday?  If so, case is closed.  If not, then I think 
we all
know what should have been done, as hard as it would have been.  A job is not
worth risking a life.  Finally, I'll bet that the owner never informed the
seamstresses of your recommendation, so that they had a chance to evaluate the
risk.  They never do........

Monty Hart
Associated Design Consultants, Inc.
Anchorage, Alaska

Rhkratzse(--nospam--at) wrote:

> Of course, and if I were in the driver's seat I would like to have made the
> same choice as you (I think).  But I wasn't--the engineer seldom is, are we?
> And of course the choice wasn't as you describe it.  Rather it was between
> the certainty of unemployment (if they weren't bluffing, and since this was 
> tiny little co. owned by a stack of multinational conglomerates, each one
> larger than the one before, I don't think they were) and the vague
> possibility, oh say maybe 67% chance of maybe a big eq. in oh say the next
> hundred years or so, which might or might not do significant damage which
> might or might not kill a few, or a lot.  Not quite the clear choice you
> present.
> I guess that's the type of decisions CEOs are paid to make.  And the type of
> political pressure they can present.
> Ralph
> >>