Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

End of an era for Personal Rapid Transit

I love that headline, because the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist used it in 2006, on the occasion of a failed attempt by the ineffectual Rep. Slappy Olson to attach PRT to a bonding measure. A dramatic headline to be sure, but he forgot to indicate what era, exactly, had ended. It was just a chance for him to list a number of setbacks for PRT, and sneer 'losers' at its backers.

Now, however, "end of an era" could never be more appropos. For last Sunday our old Luddite friend announced, announced and announced that he was taking a break from all his worries. At Dump Mark Olson:

If Anyone is Still Reading....

In keeping with my New Years [sic] resolution not to spend a lot of time on the internet, I'm not going to blog here anymore.

The statistics don't justify me posting and nobody is paying me to flog a dead horse for the few readers who bother to read DMO.

I probably will add one more update when Rep. Mark Olson is officially dumped at the polls.

Until then, the blog will remain as a resource for opposition research.

At Dump Bachmann:
Hello I must be going...

I made a New Years [sic] resolution to spend a lot less time on the internet and get more artwork done.

What I found out is that it wasn't that easy to cut down. Somebody would send me something wacky about Bachmann and there I was composing, uploading... instead of drawing and inking.

I have to go cold turkey... so I've asked Eva to take away my ability to post on DB.

I began blogging at DB because the media was not reporting all the bizarre, wacky spectacle [sic] stuff Bachmann did and said.

The Dump Bachmann Team has done an amazing job of setting the record straight on Michele Bachmann and I'm satisfied that I have achieved the goals I had when I started blogging on DB way back.

The good news is that DB has excellent contributers [sic] from the 6th CD now. More good news is that there are two strong candidates in the DFL. Either Elwyn Tinklenberg or Bob Olson has a good chance of defeating Bachmann in November.

It's been interesting... but, I must be going....

[ellipses in original]

At Lloydletta:
Back to the Artwork...

...Eva has been gracious for letting me post non-Bachmann stuff on Lloydletta also.

Awww, cute. He's resigning to spend more time with his cartoon family.

But wait -- what's missing from Washingdor's Farewell Address(es)? That's right: he forgot to mention his vendetta against personal rapid transit!

That's really an amazing omission. What's it been -- five years? From his first anti-PRT cartoon, to the Light Rail Now disinformation paper Cyberspace Dream -- the Code of Hammurabi of anti-PRT propaganda -- to the Roblog skirmishes, his wholesale vandalism at Wikipedia, the time-wasting Wikipedia adjudications, the smears against PRT proponents, objective journalists and progressive officials, to the breathtakingly error-riddled and biased "reporting," the man has expended a massive amount of energy lobbying against innovation. Or amassed a huge store of bad karma.

Kenwood quitting blogging and not mentioning PRT is like winning an Oscar and forgetting to thank your spouse. I like this metaphor; I'll keep it.

You try to make up for it later at the post-ceremony confab, but the tabloids, Entertainment Tonight and People talk up the gaffe and, inevitably, it's Splitsville.

The problem is, the estranged spouse supported you for all those years before you became Big, and now this is how you say thanks?

Him being Big is the reason. He's Big because of PRT. All over the internet he's the PRT Skeptic! Perhaps the leading skeptic! An expert! In Minnesota politics he's the guy who only cares about how candidates stand on PRT!

I think I was right -- he sees the first PRTs are coming to England and Sweden, and he's nervous (Tick tock, 12/18). All his past claims -- especially PRT doesn't exist -- are about to become as obsolete as a rotary phone. Who can blame him for wanting to put some distance between himself and his anti-PRT past?

Yes: if he really means it, his exit is the end of an era indeed. PRT systems will launch; some will succeed, some will fail -- like all things man-made. Some PRT will achieve policy objectives, some won't. That's life.

PRT will also be discussed and debated. But one thing is virtually certain: it now has the chance to be discussed accurately, on its merits, rather than as a political bogeyman.

So now what? He's not the only one tired of battle; so am I. I for one would be curious what the ex-Propagandist thinks about other important issues of the day. Maybe someday we'll meet. We might talk about art, politics, or travel. What kind of light system does he have on his bicycle? What does he think makes a good cocktail?

I may buy his book.

Farewell, Ken Avidor, we hardly knew ye

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