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Re: "black box" software was: L-Pile Analysis

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I agree with you.  I read the article, and didn't think the writer went far enough in the right direction.  To me "black box" computer usage is when the results are not questioned, regardless of how far off a suitable response the answer is.  It is the prevailing attitude that it is correct just because the computer did it.  Many might have the ability to do the calculation by hand, but do not take the time to review and analytically verify the value of the results.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2005 3:10 PM
Subject: RE: "black box" software was: L-Pile Analysis

From: Tom Barsh @ Codeware [mailto:tom(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:06 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: "black box" software was: L-Pile Analysis
Here's an interesting article titled "is it ethical to use an engineering software program to solve a problem if you cannot complete the calculations manually":  (see page 17)

Without having read the article cited--as a dues-paying member of Texas ASCE, I reserve (nay, "relish") the right to ignore anything they have to say--I wonder how they define "inability to complete the calculations manually."
I would suggest that if you are an engineer who "cannot complete manual calculations," you must have been socially promoted. I flatter myself that there's nothing I could not do, or learn to do, in the realm of structural design given sufficient time and appropriate resource materials.
However, I'm certainly not about to do a hand-calc indeterminate frame analysis when Visual Analysis is so much quicker and easier. That has nothing to do with whether I CAN do it, but whether I CHOOSE to "waste the time" doing it.

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