Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
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Friday, June 13, 2008


Lately I'm sort of feeling like all is right with the world. In fact, the universe seems to be back in alignment, what with Avismore the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist breaking his New Year Resolution to spend less time on the internet.

Not only is he posting his anti-innovation smears on Daily Kos and shadowing my environmental posts on Viropop, he's even back on Wikipedia trying to bias the PRT article there.

His appearance at Viropop is especially funny, because his very first post there is oh so quintessentially smeary:

Personal Rapid Transit is so Bogus
Posted by [Humidor] on June 11, 2008 at 6:24pm in Environmental Issues

The Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) pod people are coming to Ithaca, NY in September

Video of James Howard Kunstler talking about "the PRT guys"

More videos about PRT here

Light Rail Now article on PRT
It's nice that Labridor has found a kindred spirit in Kunstler. While his views on sprawl and land use are generally on the right side, Kunstler's reputation is just as prickly as Kenwood's:

You quote Kunstler on PRT? He doesn't even believe in renewable energy - casually dismissing renewables as a "stopgap". His solution to peak oil is for everyone in the world has to start living like the Amish. Source

Kunstler has such a bleak view of things that I am surprised he hasn't hung himself. I was unable to finish the Long Emergency.
I am too much of a "tempered" optimist to buy into his vision. Source

I don't think Kunstler is right in his overall vision although he does correctly see many of the problems. But it's colored by the tendency of his opinions to be morally judgmental at base. Certain things are just bad in his view and should fail, so therefore they will fail. Makes for interesting reading but doesn't strike me as good prediction. We'll see. Source

HEY KENWOOD, you agree with Kunstler that PRT supporters are cranks and nuts. Well do you agree with Kunstler on this too? --
...and also, you know, the Segway was a good idea for people who are disabled, let's say, for one reason or another, too old. But the idea that normal people need a kind of prosthetic extension for walking around, you know, that was also kind of nuts.
Kunstlercast #13
at :03:35

Segways are okay for people who aren't normal???!!! Time for a little reject, renounce and denounce action, Kenwood. Are you going to distance yourself from such a repugnant attitude? Are you going to demand he apologize? Of course, you're the one who has a problem with overweight people, street alcoholics, and teenagers. As always: I'M WAITING for your corrections/retractions.

Yep. Everything with Ovendoor is back to normal all right.

depending on what is normal for Ken Avidor


A Transportation Enthusiast said...

Yes, game on Mr. Grant! We all knew his resolution wouldn't last.

I agree, the world feels right again. Not having the bi-weekly Avidor PRT smear to pick apart felt kind of like the writer's strike last fall, or when a professional sports league goes strike - there was always that nagging sense that something was missing.

Debunking Avidor is my guilty pleasure in life. By now everyone knows his campaign is completely devoid of truth, so there's no real reason to answer him anymore, but dammit it's so much fun to disect his hateful, attacking propaganda. Needless to say, I was very happy to see he's started up again.

It kind of reminds me of when I was younger and into video games: I'd win a video game start to finish, but even after winning the whole game, I'd still go back occasionally and play it again once in a while. Even though I knew I'd mastered it, it was fun to go back and win again for old times' sake. That's how I feel about this real life video game named "The Stalking Horse". :-)

Beyond my own selfish concerns, we must all acknowledge the fact that Avidor is good for PRT. He has attracted many more people to PRT than any single advocate ever could. When he's out there attacking on forums, it gives people like you and me the perfect opportunity to educate. If we were to just pop into new discussion forums unannounced, it might look like we were trying to sell something. So Avidor gives us the perfect excuse to engage in those conversations without looking like a drooling proponent.

He will go down in history as the PRT movement's greatest foil.

gary said...

Forgive my ignorance, but just who is Avidor? Like everyone, I see his posts everywhere. He even mentioned my website in one of his wiki discussions (www.prtproject.com). I can understand someone caring ABOUT a technology, but what motivates someone to be so much AGAINST a technology?


Mr_Grant said...


You mean He Who Shall Not Be Acknowledged By Name? He's really going to be upset that his anti-PRT propagandist reputation has failed to precede him!

I think the best place for you to start is with our Manifesto. See the so-named link in the Sidebar. The peruse some of the Best Of links. Enjoy.

gary said...

I don't really care that much. I've crossed paths with him a couple of times and found him unwilling to follow through in conversations. He seems more interested in hit and run blogging, something that doesn't accomplish much.

I do agree with the point that he's probably been good for PRT, despite his intentions, just because of the conversations he's evoked. It's just that he's not really that serious about it all.