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Re: Side Plate Systems - Eureka Moment

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Thank you for the reference to the OCRegister article; it's interesting.  I 
think most structural engineers in California are familiar with the system 
and it certainly does seem useful.  It may be the best solution to 
beam-column moment connections, which leads me to my concern:

Am I the only person who feels a little sadness in the pit of my stomach 
every time I read about this "proprietary" system.  I wonder what the 
engineering world would be like today if every advancement had been privately 
tested, patented, and sold to the highest bidder.  No dogbone connections, no 
eccentric braced frames, maybe no wheel or wl^2/8 -- without paying the fare 
each time you use it?  The other systems were "invented" in universities, on 
government grants, so I suppose that's why they ended up in the public 
domain.  But the article mentioned that the inventor of the sideplate system 
was on a government grant when he thought of it too. 

I understand that we are a capitalist system and that "everything" one 
originates can be made the basis for profit.  But just think what the world 
would be like if every advancement was captured and sold, never distributed 
for the common good.  

I expect there will be a lot of comments reminding me that we wouldn't have 
AZT and many other medicines if there weren't a huge potential for profit in 
it, and of course that's true.  At the other extreme many useful things 
wouldn't be helping the world if they were only sold.  

Just a few thoughts.  I'm very interested in responses. 

Bye, bye, Enron -- capitalism at its best?  :(  

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond CA USA

In a message dated 11/28/01 11:07:04 AM, hgallart(--nospam--at) writes:

<< For those of you interested in reading the subject article referred to, go

Henry Gallart, S.E.
Vice President
SidePlate Systems, Inc. >>

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