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

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

When Appliance Parts Go Fishing

Today Kenmore Ovendoor the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist takes Curt Gowdy on another deep, deep, deep sea fishing expedition. Watch as Humidor casts and casts and casts with no bites! Enjoy the blatant POV pushing! Thrill to hours and hours of political trawling! Chuckle as he gets tangled in his own line.

Coming up next: Mark Olson and the PRT Scam” by Clifford Irving. Excerpt: "Mark Olson was conceived in both senses of the word as a multi-decade experiment in gadgetbahnism. His father was Donn Fichter, who is credited as the father of gadgetbahn, and his mother is the conceptual artist "Chastity," a simple German girl whose father invented World War II. Together they made for a perfect start to a neverending conspiracy today known to a handful of cartoonists as the PRT Scam. Fichter and Chastity planned for their son Mark to grow up to become an American lawmaker. Their patient scheme was for Mark to futilely introduce gadgetbahn legislation in Minnesota that always fails, therefore not winning any state funding for gadgetbahn -- a clever trick to guarantee the supremacy of the criminal organization known as the National Asphalt & Highway Confederation, as well as providing a pastime for underemployed art school graduates..."

K@nny-boy: Put down the
Short Elliott Hendrickson talking point and step away...
Ken Avidor strikes iceberg and sinks on maiden voyage

Monday, August 20, 2007

Baby it's cold (or warm) inside - UPDATE 3

Today comes word that the first ULTra production vehicle has been delivered to the PRT test track in Cardiff. Says ATS Ltd. --

"The new vehicle features a more powerful motor, full climate control, and the complete passenger interface." Source

Recall that Ken Avidor the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist claims PRT doesn't/can't have air conditioning. Recently he issued a revised version of this unsupported, bogus charge:
The [ULTra] vehicle has to be converted from battery to hybrid (burning diesel or gasoline) in order to have HVAC.

Conversion to burning fossil fuels pretty much removes the selling point that PRT is non-polluting.
(Seattle P-I Forum 7/26/07)

(9/17/2011) Sure, it's been 4 years since this post went up, but debunking knows no expiration date!  This new ULTra press release must be cited:
Heathrow Airport has today unveiled the Heathrow pod, the airport’s most innovative transport system and the first new example of transit technology in 100 years...

Each temperature-controlled Heathrow pod has been designed for privacy and comfort and allows passengers to select their own direct destination.
Now you're probably saying, "man, four years was a long time ago. Give Avidor a break, he's probably given up on that one."  A reasonable and generous impulse -- except, here he is in tweets from August 2011, fishing (unsuccessfully) for substantiation:
Andrew_Frankel Sign in heathrow pod saying it 'does not produce any emissions'. Fair comment or wilfully misleading cobblers? Discuss.
Avidor @Andrew_Frankel Was the Heathrow pod interior climate-controlled? - Did the pod have ventilation/air conditioning?
Andrew_Frankel @Avidor Dunno, wasn't a hot day so didn't notice. My guess is that it's ventilated but not a/c. Not much point for 5 min journey?

Avidor @Andrew_Frankel Thanks. Maybe not in UK, they're trying to sell these pods all over the world - India, Australia, and here in Minnesota.

Update 3 (1/25/2012)

Ken Avidor should stop blogging about the PRT and scram

Friday, August 17, 2007

Editor's note: An open letter to you know who

Dear Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist,

When you want to win friends and influence people, first impressions are important. It's making sure you're being seen at your best. It's putting your best foot forward. Presentation.

You don't do it just for the sake of doing it, of course. You do it because people know that if you care enough to attend to the little details, you're someone that maybe they should heed. Someone to take seriously.

Take some normal events from every day life. Would you pick your nose in front of a potential client? No, you wouldn't. Would you snap your fingers in a Greek diner to get a waitress's attention? Of course not. You can lose an arm that way.

Similarly, when you communicate with an elected official in a letter, your goal should be to impress. You should be concise. You should address one subject. Don't send a screed that tries to link domestic violence, verbal abuse, transit technology and the I-35W bridge. You might come off looking a bit, well, you know.

Do open with the salutation "Dear."

Do proofread. Do put a professor's name, title and university in the correct order. Don't reveal you are ignorant of the difference between capital punishment and capitol punishment.

Don't complain about a bill you opposed that has already been defeated, last year.

And most of all, when writing an open letter to Margaret Anderson Kelliher, and not only post it on the interweb for the world to see, but also expect her to read it instead of clicking the Back icon, at least have the courtesy to address her as Speaker Kelliher or Madam Speaker.

But only if you want to be effective.

Hope this helps,
Managing Editor

We now adjourn Ken Avidor sine die

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Advocacy Does Not Equal Decisionmaking III- everyone needs to calm down

RDC, a rather articulate commentator, is in understandable high dudgeon over at his Laurels and Lances blog about PR put out by the people at SkyTran PRT:

Wild and unsubstantiated claims on the SkyTran website such as SkyTran being able to "totally eliminate commuter congestion in any city" is literally false advertising and a complete misrepresentation of the product. Another claim of "SkyTran can END road congestion, car accidents and automobile air pollution" also state the impossible.

Where are the actual studies proving these claims?...

Short answer: their aren't any studies I know of proving these particular claims. I agree they are overblown. However, if he is so inclined I can direct RDC to a number of studies from over the years describing what PRT can do in more dispassionate and academic terms.

Furthermore, the glaring faults RDC sees in SkyTran's claims are pretty much right on, such as--
Another claim from the makers of SkyTran is that people will be traveling around at 100 mph around the city. If you sent someone in one of the passenger pods for a 4 block ride, you would not get it to 100 mph. If you did, that person would be thrown back and whipped forward as there is insufficient space for speeding up and slowing down safely. You also would have hundreds of switches and sensors along the line to allow the PRT pod to bypass stations and other pods. One tiny error in any of the millions upon millions of calculations per second the system must do or a small system glitch, as the driverless pod is whipping around the city at 100 mph, could easily spell disaster.
Absolutely, which is why all other PRT designers I know of propose 25-40 mph speeds in town, reserving higher velocities for the day when PRT lines might extend between cities. Allow me to note that these kinds of pro-PRT claims are exactly the kind of over-promising I have spent a great deal of time counseling against. It is the mirror of those who claim PRT is 'a scam,' 'light rail is all we need,' and 'mass transit doesn't work, just build more roads.' Over-promising what PRT could do creates resistance among people who ought to support PRT, people who are sincerely seeking alternatives to the car culture and unsustainable environmental practices.

Claims by overly enthusiastic advocates should not be generalized to all of the PRT designers and proponents (nor should their enthusiasm mean their technology doesn't work). A review of the serious literature will reveal the rigorous academic nature of the data that supports PRT.

On the other hand, the point that SkyTran is at right now amounts merely to discussion about its potential merits. It is an overreaction at this stage to characterize it as the first step in an evil ripoff of taxpayers, for the two simple reasons that it is just people talking, and (all together) advocacy does not equal decisionmaking.

There are hoops any new public transit technology has to jump through to be selected for implementation: protracted, deliberative, multi-lateral study and decisionmaking that protects the public interest. Hardware has to be built, tested and operated to the satisfaction of regulators (as is being done in Europe). Pilot systems must be established and operated to the satisfaction of politically accountable officials, if not voters themselves, before a decision is made to proceed. Likewise with design & engineering for actual urban implementations, and the public and/or private revenue sources to pay for it.

PRT proponents need to bear this process in mind, as well as the detractors. Public officials, on the whole, are slow to embrace PRT because of this obligation to protect the public interest, not because of less flattering traits some people may like to speculate about.

Optimally, R&D on PRT would be funded privately, as with the Vectus system, although even with public investment in planning and testing, as is the case with the British/EU ULTra PRT, there is no need to think that would take funding away from existing transport systems. Competitive grants awarded on merit, budgeted/appropriated for the purpose, are available from national and state agencies, and private foundations.

If SkyTran is all that it claims, where is the test line on company property to clearly show everyone the concept in a full scale working model?
asks RDC. I can't speak for that particular company, but that would require sufficient investment, and that would require investors to see it as an acceptable risk. Maybe you haven't noticed, but public transit does not exactly have a low threshold for entry into the market: vast manufacturing capacity in materials, facilities and labor are required (in the past, deep pockets such as Raytheon--who nonetheless mucked up PRT2000--and the two megacorps involved in Cabinentaxi--a proven design that fell victim to military spending demands of Pres. Reagan). And there are the above-mentioned regulatory and policy hoops. In addition, in my state (probably others too) there are laws protecting public transit agencies from private competition.

By its very nature, advocacy is one-sided and seeks advantageous comparisons with the status quo.* This can be said of any innovation. If a particular invention doesn't pan out, then we won't buy any. But it also doesn't mean innovators will stop trying, nor should anyone tell them to stop.

on the Web: Laurels and Lances

Ken Avidor, a deer, a female deer
* This is frequently characterized as "bashing," especially if the comparisons are not objectively framed. Heated comparisons (I've read things on the order of 'light rail is a failure' and 'a waste of money') are not helpful, because viewed from the decisionmakers' perspective conventional transit is a good decision -- they function; construction and operation creates jobs and follow-on ripple effects in the economy; there are land use/redevelopment benefits; a significant segment of the public also sees in transit desirable social outcomes. Now, it is still much-debated whether conventional transit achieves prevailing expectations, the magnitude of economic benefits justify the investment, and whether transit-driven development is fair to underserved areas. But those are complex public issues (and in the case of social outcomes, not all variables in the decision are quantitative), transit innovators would do well to exercise caution and restraint when weighing in on them. And, moreover, the PRT community's rhetoric needs to acknowledge not only that new conventional systems are being built, but also that those systems will continue to exist into the future. Responsible PRT deployment proposals need to describe how they will interact in a multi-modal transit landscape, as we have done at GetThereFast.org

Monday, August 13, 2007

See who's on his side

Rodiva the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist has a new talking point. 'Seems one official of one road department in Arizona is dismissive of the Skytran PRT concept. So naturally the propagandist feels obligated to trumpet this and claim the Wikipedia PRT article does not reflect "the consensus of transportation professionals."

Check out the Arizona Republic article Rodiva is linking to, and scroll down to the reader comments. Notice how the people agreeing with the anti-PRT position fall into three loose categories:

People who hate Arizona and Mesa--

hahahahha...... America's dumbest state continues. What a joke.

Great idea! Can take residents from the trailer park or retirement community over to the pawn shop and liquor store. Stop by Walmart for some camoflouge hunting gear

Besides, Mesa is the most backward city in the valley.

Main Street is a joke even for a small farming town. The city of Mesa is run by a bunch of hillbillies.

People who think referring to The Simpsons monorail episode is original--

This sounds eerily like a Simpsons episode.

Wasn't there a Simpson's episode about this... something about monorail saleman pitching a deal that can't be passed? I agree Mesa should only invest in proven technology.

monorail.... monorail..... MONORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIL!!!!!!!!!!!

...is there a chance the track could bend?

agreed- this sounds more like a SHELBYVILLE idea.

And racists and haters of the homeless--

This sounds awesome! I would love to pay,with my tax dollars, for the transportation of homeless people!

This will be a great way to transport all the illegal aliens living in down town out to the airport… and the homeless people will have a new place to go pee. We could even call them pee pods.

Hope the migrant workers enjoy riding it.


Of course, on the homeless Kenwood is already there.


Ken Avidor - vAn ride oK

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bring It On IV: Epilogue

The bias charge against me at Wikipedia by Kenwood the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist? It went down in flames. This is what it was about--trying to slant Wikipedia, a project that has the objective of being neutral and objective, so it reflects his personal bias. Here is his blatant appeal --

Please Get Somebody at Wikipedia to do something about Personal Rapid Transit
In the wake of the 35W bridge collapse in my city, right-wingers and PRT promoters are attacking transit funding and even funding of bicycle infrastructure[3][4]. Please bring some reality to that PRT article before the next MN special session when Rep. Mark Olson and others will likely use PRT to attack funding for the Central Corridor LRT and Northstar. The Arizona Tribune recently ran a good article about UniModal where a transportation professional was quoted saying Skytran "is an idea on the Internet, but that's about the only place it exists." [5] It's time the Wikipedia article about PRT reflect the consensus of transportation professionals instead of the PRT promoters (who are editing it- see talk pages)....thank you...[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 15:39, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Just to show you how ineffective he is, this post was made on the discussion page of a senior Wikipedia user who has withdrawn from Wikipedia activity. In other words, this rather desperate plea is falling on deaf ears.
Nonetheless, it confirms everything PRT proponents and neutral observers have been saying -- the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist is engaged in an ultimately political campaign against a technology. He perceives PRT as a threat to another technology he prefers; PRT itself has done nothing to earn such fear.
Don't like some of the politicans who claim to support PRT? Then don't vote for them. But PRT is just a technology.
It is not partisan. It is inanimate.

"Bring It On" Series, parts I, II, and III
UPDATE: The case has been closed and archived -- the title is "Mr Grant - No COI"
Ken Avidor - AKron dive

Bring It On III: I am charming, funny and articulate

The back-and-forth on the Wikipedia Conflict of Interest Noticeboard was paralleled by back-and-forth on the discussion page of the Personal Rapid Transit article. Send the rescue chopper, he's gone down in flames. Ovendoor the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist is as pathetic as on COIN, again carping about whether I get paid for PRT work, and again resorting to the 'I don't have time' cop-out. Whereas by comparison I sparkle like a 21st century Bennett Cerf. Read on --

Question About Conflict of Interest Concerning David Gow (Mr Grant)
David Gow maintains several websites, blogs that promote Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) and moderates a Seattle PRT web forum. All this activity alone constitutes a conflict of interest, but I would like to know if David Gow (Mr Grant) has received payment for promoting PRT and if so, who has paid him...[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 18:07, 8
August 2007 (UTC)

First: I have no clue whether or not he has been paid; second: it is entirely irrelevant here because he has not added anything advertorial or controversial to the article; third: if you insist on knowing whether Gow was paid, you should also answer whether you've ever been paid for your anti-PRT campaign - like, for example, any articles or Roadkill Bill works you've [sic] created that are anti-PRT in nature. Your presence on these articles has been much more significant and controversial than Gow's, so if you've made any money off your anti-PRT campaign then that would be much more of a COI than anything you can accuse of Gow. ATren 19:21, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Once again we see [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] attack a person because his attacks on the technology have been shown to be without foundation. As Atren notes, I may have a pro-PRT presence online, but it is only COI if my Wikipedia edits have a COI result. [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] seems to think expertise or opinion necessarily takes away one's ability to write objectively or neutrally.
As for whether I receive payment for my work, for the time being I am going to neither confirm nor deny anything, one way or another. The reason? I wish to be amused by the talking points and conspiracy theories [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] will produce in the coming days/weeks/months/years/eras, which I am sure are being concocted even as I write this. After all, one of my blogs is [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] Humor, and I always need material. --Mr Grant 19:51, 8 August 2007

Again, I ask respectfully; Have you, Mr Grant (David Gow) received payment for promoting PRT and if so, who has paid you?

The policy {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
If you fit either of these
descriptions: you are receiving monetary or other benefits or considerations to edit Wikipedia as a representative of an organization (whether directly as an employee or contractor of that organization, or indirectly as an employee or contractor of a firm hired by that organization for public relations purposes); or, you expect to derive monetary or other benefits or considerations from editing Wikipedia; for example, by being the owner, officer or other stakeholder of a company or other organisation about which you are writing;

then we very strongly encourage you to avoid editing Wikipedia in areas where there is a conflict of interest that would make your edits non-neutral (biased). Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy states that all articles must represent views fairly and without bias, and conflicts of interest do significantly and negatively affect Wikipedia's ability to fulfill this requirement. If your financially-motivated edits would be non-neutral, do not post them.

And again, I ask you respectfully, which of Mr. Grant's edits to the PRT article do you consider to be problematic? ATren 20:58, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

And I, just as respectfully, respond to you, Ned Luddington ([Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist]), that I am in compliance with the policy you have quoted. I'll trust you on quoting them accurately. Love ya, don't change. Mmmmmmmwah. --Mr Grant 21:04, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

[Now he tries to change the subject, perhaps sensing his impending humiliation]

There also seems to be an obvious conflict of interest regarding owner of a start-up PRT company BillJamesMN editing the PRT page and it seems other editors were well aware of it [13]...[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 21:33, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

If you have a problem, raise it at the COI noticeboard. I think you know where it
is... ATren 21:39, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Hey Nedken: I agree with you that BillJamesMN may have appearance of a COI. That is why I have proposed a remedy I hope will improve the article. How would you like to improve the article? --Mr Grant 22:43, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

One last time; Are you paid to promote PRT?...[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 01:41, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

One last time: which edits are you concerned about? Because if he's not making promotional edits, then the COI question is moot! ATren 01:44, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Are you paid to oppose it? Because it's like a full-time job for you. --Mr Grant 02:36, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

With the exception of a comic about PRT back in 2003 for which I received $40, no... Now, you can answer my question; Have you been paid to promote PRT?...[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 04:15, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

You're not the boss of me. And at 01:41 you promised that would be the last time you asked. --Mr Grant 05:05, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

And can you answer my question: which edits do you consider PRT "promotion"? Because unless there is evidence of actual PRT promotion on behalf of Mr Grant, the COI charge is completely irrelevant. Are you going to provide diffs [record of different versions side by side] to support your argument? ATren 04:21, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

So that's it? You refuse to provide the diffs? ATren 13:59, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

It would take a more time [sic] than I have... I agree with the admin--"If he (Gow) wants to avoid all potential for future misunderstanding he can confine himself to the article talk page."[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 15:58, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Hold the phone! You did the experiment without doing the research first? You went to battle without knowing the enemy's position? You asked a question in court without already knowing the answer? You expect me to believe that, with all the time you spend trawling the PRT waters, you have no actual evidence of my COI? This was just a fishing expedition!!! Is there a Wikipedia policy against time-wasting?

And staying on the talk page "to avoid all potential for future misunderstanding" amounts to a gag order -- because you are the one who will be doing the misunderstanding. So no way. I am educated in performing neutral, competent policy & program analysis, I have a sheepskin that says so. I perform neutral, competent policy & program analysis every day. How about you? FORTY DOLLARS???!!! --Mr Grant 16:46, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

The admin also clearly states that Mr Grant's edit history is "all helpful and straightforward contribution." And, judging by your "I don't have time" excuse, it's quite clear that she's absolutely right - there is nothing on which to base a COI complaint. As Mr Grant states above, this appears to be little more than a fishing expedition.

Furthermore, I question why you believe that Gow has received money to promote PRT - do you have any evidence to support this? Once again, that seems to be a completely unfounded insinuation, made with the intent to falsely imply impropriety on Gow's part. To paraphrase the great Jackie Gleason: "Ad homina homina hominem". So as far as I'm concerned, Mr Grant has proven himself to be a model editor on these pages, and he can go ahead and continue editing without reservation. ATren 17:32, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

That's the end of it, as of this moment. However, Labridor did make another post that could be seen as a fitting conclusion to this saga -- read about it in Part IV.

"Bring It On" Series, parts I, II, and IV

The best Ken Avidor anagram is still -- nAive dorK

Bring It On II: He forgot to bring it

The excitement is just about over here at "PRT Is a Joke" Is a Joke Field; the home team is ahead 50,000,000 runs to zero and the happy fans are trickling toward the exits.

Here's what happened on the Wikipedia Conflict of Interest Noticeboard:he had NOTHING. As in nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nil. Nada. Niente. Rien. All he did was continue to carp about whether I make money from my PRT work. Read on --

Possible Conflict of Interest Concerning David Gow (Mr Grant)

David Gow is the Seattle contact for Citizens for Personal Rapid Transit (CPRT)[187] Mr. Gow also maintains several websites, blogs that promote Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) and moderates a Seattle PRT web forum. All this activity alone constitutes a conflict of interest for his editing of Personal Rapid Transit. I have asked if David Gow (Mr Grant) if he has received payment for promoting Personal Rapid Transit and if so, who has paid him... He will not say whether he is paid or not[188]. David Gow has made many edits on the Personal Rapid Transit page. I request that David Gow be advised not to edit Personal Rapid Transit unless he reveals whether he has been paid for his extensive public relations work to promote Personal Rapid Transit on the web and in the media.....
[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 22:07, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

There is no basis whatsoever for this charge. Listed below is every
edit by Mr Grant on the PRT pages over the last year:

· added a wikilink

· removed a redundant wikilink

· copy edit

· removed "proponents" because no objections to proponents were listed in that section

· updated the status of a PRT system under construction

· provided reference for this last update

· typo

· removed link to deleted article

· added fact tags

Note that the last edit was actually demanding sources for pro-PRT material - in other words, this so-called promoter is requesting references for a claim that supports his position.

I should also note that [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] has previously tried to
implicate Mr Grant in a COI complaint - the finding in that case was that the only editor raising COI concerns was [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] himself.

This complaint is completely groundless, and may be a violation of WP:POINT. ATren 22:31, 8 August 2007 (UTC)


ATren, are you the editor responsible for posting this on 2/2/06?: "So now you're bowing out, eh? You went in and empowered that f*cking idiot and now you're dropping it on the
floor. You are as much a moron as he is."
.... [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 23:03, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Mr. Grant may have a conflict of interest, but it goes to [sic] far to build a complaint around the innocuous and widely spaced edits here. If he wants to avoid all
potential for future misunderstanding he can confine himself to the article talk page. I will not, however, issue a warning since this is all helpful and straightforward contribution. He did do more on the page before this year, but that's ancient history in wikitime. Recommend to ATren a formal withdrawal of the insult. Since it was made a full year and a half ago I won't issue a warning there either. Please open an
article content WP:RFC to settle any topical disputes on the page. DurovaCharge! 00:14, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I've already expressed my regret at that statement, several times. I'll repeat here: it was a regrettable edit made in anger during my first month on the project, and I've not repeated anything remotely like it since. But he keeps bringing it up whenever there is a dispute with me. I don't know what else I can do. As for Mr. Grant's edits from before this year, the only edits that might be remotely considered POV pushing were back in 2005, and were made in response to [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist]'s own POV pushing. And there can be no doubt of [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist]'s extreme point of view (I can post hundreds more if there's any question). I'd also like to stress that Mr. Grant's last two edits on PRT and PRT talk have been clear examples of "editing for the enemy", so given that there is more PRT skepticism than promotion in his edits from the last year, the COI accusations are particularly puzzling. Perhaps [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] can enumerate the edits that caused him to make this charge? Because I can't find any. ATren 01:03, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for taking the time to respond to this, but I really don't have the time or inclination to debate an anonymous user (ATren) who apparently has nothing else to do but argue[189] and attack people[190] It is Mr Grant (Mr Grant) , not I or Atren who should answer whether he is paid to promote PRT on Wikipedia....[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 01:20, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

You're still not responding to the central issue here: regardless of whether he's paid or not, he's not doing any promoting here! There's not a single edit from the last 1.5 years that remotely resembles promotion. So what exactly is your point? ATren 01:29, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

That's your opinion ATE and since you and Mr Grant cooperate on and off Wikipedia [191], you are in no position to judge...[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 01:47,
9 August 2007 (UTC)

Then why don't you just show us the edits that caused you to make this complaint? ATren 01:50, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

This thread asks for a determination of possible WP:COI violation and I've made one. No new evidence relevant to that has emerged since then. Suggest both sides bury the
hatchet and move on. Otherwise, Dispute resolution is thataway. (And as a disclaimer I'll say that I offered to mentor ATren a while ago. Should've mentioned that on my first post - don't think it affects my finding either way though). DurovaCharge! 14:49, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

I'd just like to add something. [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] posted this on JzG's
page, including the following quote: "Please bring some reality to that PRT article before the next MN special session when Rep. Mark Olson and others will likely use PRT to attack funding for the Central Corridor LRT and Northstar." This seems to be a plea to change the article for the express purpose of influencing political activities, which would seem to be a very definite COI. This is especially relevant given [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist]'s previous admonishment for COI concerns on Olson's page, and his well documented political blogging in Minnesota ([192], [193], [194], [195], and more). I
submit that the only COI concern here is [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] himself, and that perhaps he's the one who should refrain from any activity on the PRT pages - including talk pages, where he frequently posts generic anti-PRT material without referencing any specific problem with the article itself. ATren 16:34, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

I welcome a thorough investigation of everyone's motives in editing personal rapid transit. PRT has virtually no acceptance among transportation professionals. Most of the
"facts" in that article are dubious to say the least...it's largely written by PRT promoters opposed to rail transit ....[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 17:07, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Actually, every single statement in [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist]'s above comment is false:

· "virtually no acceptance" - PRT has received unqualified endorsement from the European Union after a comprehensive multi-city, multi-year study involving hundreds of transportation professionals[196].

· "Most of the 'facts' in that article are dubious to say the least" - The facts in the article are all sourced in academic sources, mostly conference and journal articles, but also the several texts that have resulted from extensive US government-sponsored study in the 1970s. Just look at the references section for the sources.

· "it's largely written by PRT promoters opposed to rail transit" - absolutely false. Most of the substantive edits have been made by non PRT people, and indeed the article was thoroughly scrubbed by JzG last year - for those who don't know, JzG was [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist]'s biggest champion here.

The truth is, [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] stirs up this debate every few months - roughly corresponding to the times when the Minnesota legislature is in session, and each time he makes the same plea to "fix the article" but gives no specifics (because the articles are fine). In the process, he'll forum shop looking for someone to support his views, all the while posting linkspam to anti-PRT articles on various talk pages. It's
happened at least 3 times since I've been here. I should also note that PRT's main "competitor" in the transit space is light rail, and [Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] is a staunch light rail advocate, including active involvement in the "Light Rail Now" astroturfing website. If you doubt any of what I've said here, I can dig up links to previous instances of this behavior, including previous pleas to change the article for political ends.

Can someone please take a serious look at this individual's history here? If you do, you will find almost nothing constructive, and a long history of disruption to support his cause. ATren 17:28, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Whatever...[Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist] 18:25, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

That was it for COI. First the ‘I don't have time’ cop-out in response to Atren, then "Whatever"-- Kenmore can't simply stop commenting, he absolutely has to have the last word. Even if it's a lame "whatever."

But the COI Noticeboard was not the end of the fun! Read about what happened on the discussion page of Wikipedia's Personal Rapid Transit article in PART III.

"Bring It On" Series, parts I, III and IV

Ken Avidor - nArK video


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bring It On

The Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist has launched a new front in his Global Skirmish On PRT: an attack on me. To wit, at Wikipedia he's asking if I get paid for PRT work. As if there would be something wrong with that if I did. Not saying that I do; not saying I don't.

He's tried this before, but then it was to divert attention from his laughable propaganda errors. Now he's refined and streamlined it into a full-fledged talking point! It's like I finally have my own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

Can you wait to see what lies, guesswork and innuendo he comes up with? I know I can't.

"Bring It On" Series, parts II, III and IV

General Ken Avidor today announced the surge in idiocy is starting to work.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Transportation expert accuses gravity of being anti-light rail

Following in the wake of the I-35W bridge collapse on August 1, a Minneapolis transportation expert has accused the culprit, gravity, of being a stalking horse for highway construction interests and PRT (Personal Rapid Transit).

"Gravity is a stalking horse for highway construction interests and PRT, " said the expert, who reminded reporters of his name about fifty times during a Saturday press conference. PRT is a transit technology that does not exist and is impossible, he said, and is being built in the gadgetbahn countries, England and Sweden.

"Because of gravity, the I-35 double-U bridge will have to be rebuilt for automobiles , and that takes money that could be better spent on light rail. Likewise, strengthening the Washington Avenue bridge also takes money that could be spent on light rail. This proves gravity is anti-light rail transit."

The expert then treated reporters to a delivery pizza, which arrived just as he groped for an analogy. "See this big gooey slice of three-cheese pepperoni-sausage? The crust is like the bridge. Because of gravity, the crust sags and all this cheese and meat drips off onto my pants," he said, wiping himself.

"Now I'll have to give money to the dry cleaners instead of tipping the pizza delivery driver, also proving my point," the expert said. "Not that she deserves a tip, she ought to have walked or taken light rail."

"I prefer my pizza cold, because cold cheese doesn't drip," he explained.

Related: Time Traveler (8/3): See the cartoonist use the I-35W bridge to try to score a political point on David Shove.
Update: See how a cartoonist responds to being mocked
When will he retract his David Shove posts? 1, 2, 3
Will he apologize to moi? (8/6)

He achieves a new low (Weiner Watch, 8/7)

Expert makes his point
No tip for drivers

Ken Avidor is cheesy with a very thin crust

Friday, August 03, 2007

Time Traveler

Italics content: HIGH
Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist: LOW

Greetings, PRTistas and other lovers of objectivity and
ethics. Remember when Kenwood the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist claimed an old Google Maps photo of Cardiff showed that, first, the ULTra PRT test track had been bulldozed, and then, later, that the bulldozing hasn't happened yet (Light rail segment obliterated - Heroic editor sounds alarm, 2/19)?

Well, he's time traveling again -- only this time more distastefully.

The headline of his post screams: "Green Party PRTista David Shove Uses Bridge Tragedy to Bash Central Corridor LRT" --

When someone posted a Pioneer Press story about improvements needed to make the Washington Avenue bridge strong enough to support the Central Corridor LRT line, Green Party PRTista David Shove chimed in with this post:

PRT pods weigh MUCH less (1500 lbs I recall) and so would require NO bridge upgrade.

LRT - the more it costs, the more the contractors and building trades love...

Source 1
Source 2
Source 3
Yes, it would be awful if David Shove used the August 1 Minneapolis I-35W bridge tragedy to score political points. Only here's the thing: he didn't. The article was about a factual consultant's report that the deck of the Washington Ave bridge must be strengthened in order to carry light rail -- THAT, not I-35W, was what Shove was commenting about. But from his post, Labridor shows he comprehended what the subject was.

What's more, the Pioneer Press article in question ran on July 31 -- the day before the bridge collapse. So only the weight of LRT was part of the article's context, I-35W wasn't.

Then read the discussion thread. Though Shove posted his comment on August 2, the I-35W bridge collapse is clearly not part of the context of Shove's post either. Not until 15:57 on August 3 does Douglas Petty (not Shove!) mention "Another ‘accident’ waiting to happen"--but without mentioning PRT, so Ovendoor doesn't put words in Petty's mouth.

Now then: who is using the bridge tragedy to try to score political points? For shame, Mr. Puffy!

P.S. - Notice he's gone back to using "PRTista" the way a right winger would
(By any other name, 4/27)?

Time passages / buy Ken Avidor a ticket on the last train home tonight