FauxPolitik

Monday, August 11, 2003

Heaven forbid you just walk: The NYT recently did an article on the highly-anticipated, barely-understood, over-designed, under-purchased Segway. Apparently, the factory can put out 40,000 a month, but there is no where near the demand for that output; certainly not at $5,000 a pop. I was thinking, if someone gave me one, would I use it? Answer: no. But then I live in the suburbs, with lots of hills. But still, even if I lived in a city, I couldn't see myself using one when the alternative is a a $100 bike (hell, I can get the Lance Armstrong edition and still have money for a cool maillot jaune). A telling quote:
"I think of the Segway like a "Jeopardy" question. What is the question to which Segway is the answer?" said Herman B. Leonard, a professor of public management at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. For the Segway to be a success, he said, riders need room to maneuver and confidence that the battery will not die on the return trip. "Unless you are elderly or have limited mobility, why wouldn't you use a bike?" he asked.
Much like moving walkways, and pneumatic tube distribution systems, the Segway looks really cool on t.v., but when you're faced with one, it's a bit much, really.

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