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

Saturday, August 11, 2007

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

No comments: