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RE: More confusion with concrete

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How's this for an idea. ACI's last annual report pegs their cost of
non-periodical publications at about $3.5 million a year. If Uncle Sam
bought the annual copyrights from ACI for about this amount and put the
publications on the web for free, it would amount to a tax burden of about a
penny a year for every man, woman and child in America. To put this in
perspective, it has cost every man, woman, and child in America about $600
so far for the Iraq war.

Then every person who ought to have access to this information but can't
afford it would have it at their fingertips. I think they should do all the
code publications this way, since they are all basically legal documents now
and ought to be available on the same basis (free) as copies of statutes and
state administrative codes.

Call me a commie. I don't care. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Polhemus, Bill [mailto:bill.polhemus(--nospam--at)tyson.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 11:50 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: More confusion with concrete


-----Original Message-----
From: Shapton & Partners [mailto:shapton(--nospam--at)nwlink.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 12:29 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: More confusion with concrete

Elias: Read "Shear Towards a Free Edge". Concrete International, March 
2004.

-----/Original Message-----

Well, while Mr. Sharpton's complaining about the SEAINT list-members,
let me take the opportunity to gripe about ACI.

I went to ACI's website to find the CI article mentioned. Turns out, you
can ONLY access these online if you are "subscribed" (meaning, I guess,
you are an ACI member or otherwise entitled to receive CI mag. In the
mail).

So I thought, well, maybe they'll let me give 'em a couple of bucks to
download the article. Sure, turns out they want TWENTY DOLLARS just for
the PDF for that one article.

I belonged to ACI for awhile, but I had to make some decisions last year
about all the bucks I was paying out for various org memberships and I
let ACI slide. It's pretty expensive, if you want the goodies. I believe
I paid a bundle a couple of years back to get the membership level where
you go the MCP CD-ROM, for example.

But I don't get this about CI. AISC gives me a complimentary
subscription to Modern Steel Construction every year (for which I
gratefully thank them). I get SE mag gratis as well. I get "Structure"
for my nominal (I think it's like $30 a year) NCSEA fee (though you have
to also belong to the local SEA, which is only something like $40 or $50
more).

For some reason, though, ACI thinks their snot would make mayonnaise (to
quote my sainted grandmother). EVERYTHING there is at cost. It's just
perplexing--and frustrating.

Yes, I remember we've talked before about how AISC is an "industry
group" but ACI is more of a "technical organization," but they both walk
and quack like ducks (though don't ask me what ACI smells like right
now). They both publish standards that make their way into the building
codes, they both publish all kinds of guides and recommended practices,
etc.

I know that on a "per word" basis, ACI probably has AISC beat insofar as
publication is concerned--but isn't there a little something called
"economies of scale?" That is, since ACI publishes so much, they
probably tend to get lots of individual orders as a result.

I think, personally, that ACI exhibits the almost inevitable tendency of
an "umbrella organization" to break free of its original mandate and
become "about itself" rather than about its mission. Perhaps I'm unfair,
but it seems like every time I turn around, I have to pay through the
nose for anything coming from ACI.

I really would like to read the article Mr. Sharpton mentions--but I
guess I'll have to wait till I get back to Houston and see if I have the
hard-copy of the March 2004 CI (I think I was still getting the mag up
until last year).

RANT OFF.


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