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We chose the form of the destructor, and it is electric scooters

Zuul was right.

scooter and bird electric scooters thrown on ground
Image: CBS San Francisco

I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood, something that could never, ever possibly destroy us. – Ray Stantz, Ghostbusters

The rise of electric scooters can be attributed to several factors. The inefficiency, nonexistence, and unreliability of public transportation, a child-like need to recapture youth through riding a scooter, and the opportunity to be a total jackass on the sidewalk. Electric scooters are a plague on humanity, a scar on the face of personal transportation. Utilized by people too lazy to ride a bike, walk or wait for the bus, in many cities scooters have become something of an infestation.

As time presses forward like an elder millennial trying to scoot down a crowded sidewalk, electric scooters have quickly gone from quaint and inventive to annoying loss leaders creating more problems than they are solving. While Uber and Lyft are creating just as many traffic problems as they purport to alleviate, Lime and Bird are doing the same to sidewalks, open-court malls and anywhere pedestrians don’t want to be shouted at because they are walking and not leaving room for scooters.

While the scooter companies continue to look for a positive spin (while taking losses), cities are tired of this new kind of street trash that would have surely killed The Warrior before they made it two blocks. Scooters have become just another thing to step or trip over as people are generally pretty shitty and just leave them lying anywhere. They got their use out of them, why give a shit after that point? It’s the same attitude that belongs to my neighbors who constantly dump trash from their car in the parking lot, instead of in a trash can.

Cities are removing scooters until they can come up with a plan to keep them all organized (spoiler: they won’t). Other shitty humans are committing crimes on scooters, bringing back the ‘ol snatch-and-grab with zippy frequency.

People are throwing scooters in lakes because that makes sense. While Bird and Lime have expressed concern for this issue (as if our rivers and lakes need more trash in them), there isn’t much that is going to stop people from being complete assholes and just tossing scooters all over the place. At least there are Instagram accounts celebrating the death of scooters.

Even something scooters are good for is based on the failure of another system. Bird is trying to present its scooters as a solid alternative to the L-Train shutdown, because nothing is more appealing to pedestrians in New York than those same pedestrians on scooters.

Electric scooters work because they remind us of a simpler time and have the ability to transport us short distances without worrying about stepping in something, even if many riders end up in the hospital because they have a center of balance akin to an entire cheesecake on the tip of a pencil.

Electric scooters fail because humanity can’t handle the responsibility of not being assholes. We litter. We treat the world like absolute trash, so why would anyone think we’d treat disposable transportation any different? Scooters aren’t the end of humanity and the environment, but they’ll certainly help get us there just a tad quicker than jogging at a brisk pace.

What do you think of the scooter startups? Good thing or bad? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Writing about consumer technology, social media and the deep layers of psychological torture endured by all of it. The world is changing, but that doesn't mean we can't be cynical about it. It's not all sunshine and roses in Silicon Valley. It's self loathing, pretentiousness and machines that squeeze juice for you. Also, a strong affinity for toasters.Follow on Twitter @cebsilver for them jokes. Chaotic neutral. Pitches to cebsilver@gmail.com

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