Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
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Saturday, August 11, 2007

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


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