Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Monday, October 30, 2006

More from the Safe Place

It's always suspicious when the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist posts anything at Dump Mark Olson. As noted earlier, he usually does it when he wants to put out "information" that he doesn't want to have to defend.

In this case it's a reprint of a post about PRT made in a Minneapolis issues forum. Note that it has nothing to do with dumping Mark Olson, or supporting Jim Huhtala. This time the poster is not the Propagandist, but rather a self-described computer professional--who actually manages to express himself pretty well (until the end, when he throws in the Talking Point pie in the sky).

...The claims made by PRT proponents are pie-in-the-sky nonsense. They are made by people who have no real understanding of the underlying technology needs and complexities.

David Greene

If you speak the truth, why the Talking Point?

Leaving aside the fact that many of the "people" he is deriding are real-live Professional Engineers and other computer professionals, we can see right away that Greene makes a suspect claim:

The idea... that this system will work at peak efficiency with vehicles traveling inches behind one another is absurd.
Did you spot it? "Inches." No PRT system proposes vehicles traveling at headways of mere inches. Here's a sample headway table:

SecondsSpeed (m.p.h.)Tail-to-head
PRT car lengths
Approx.-- 9 ft/car
2.535119.3 ft13.2
2.530101 ft11.2
2.52582.7 ft9.2
1.03542.3 ft4.7
1.03035 ft3.9
1.02527.7 ft3.1
0.53516.6 ft1.8
0.53013 ft1.4

Initial headways for the new PRT designs nearing implementation are 1-5 seconds. No reputable PRT designer is proposing the public ride at any headway until such operation is proven safe to the satisfaction of regulators--such as the British Rail Inspectorate, which has approved ULTra to carry passengers.

Therefore we see that Greene--like Kenwood the Propagandist--is not accurately describing how PRT is being designed to operate. What else about PRT is he wrong about? Why does he need to cloud the issue by citing three "proofs" that had zero to do with PRT companies (Minneapolis airport trams, the GoTo transit card, and the Denver automated baggage system--itself a Talking Point 1, 2, 3)?

What these sorts of postings by Greene and the Propagandist are all about is an attempt to put the public off on the concept of PRT before it can gain momentum. Kenmore trots out someone who may or may not be an expert, to spout reasonable-sounding technical jargon to show that PRT won't work. Which is ironic, since Kendoll has accused this reporter of using "techno-mumbo-jumbo."

The Propagandist is simply out to preëmpt public interest in technological innovations that don't suit his personal taste.

Related: "More disinformation" (Weiner Watch).
Archive: His safe place (10/19)

Update (11/2): Here is the forum thread with Greene's original posting. Get a load of this great response by William McGaughey at the sublink--
The attacks on PRT continue. David Greene weighs in with his self-proclaimed expert opinion.

As I understand Green's line of reasoning, it would be as follows: (1) My professional expertise is in the area of large-scale computing. (2) In the course of my professional work, I have come to the conclusion that large-scale computing systems are no "magic bullet". In many or most cases, the technology does not work. (3) PRT would require large-scale computing and therefore would not work.

My question is where Greene got his idea that large-scale computing systems don't work? On projects in which he has personally been involved? In that case, why would an employer want to cut Greene a paycheck for work on systems that don't work?
"PRT Is a Joke" Is a Joke hereby awards its second-ever Golden Polygraph Award to William McGaughey!

Archive (PRTJJ v.1): And the winner is... (9/20/05)

People don't like to ride with Ken Avidor

1 comment:

A Transportation Enthusiast said...

Well isn't this interesting! Suddenly Avidor is listening to a software engineer! A few months ago when he found out I am a software engineer, his tone was mocking:

"S'funny how many of these PRTers turn out to be computer software engineers who think they can re-invent transit to be like the internet...

...Nope, they are smarter than the people who write about, design, build and operate stuff that works."


I guess software engineers are OK now - as long as they bash PRT. Is this flip-flop from Avidor a surprise? Not at all. Hell, I bet he'd quote David Duke if he came out against PRT...