Saturday, January 1, 2000
By Paul Ford
I woke up without a hangover at 8am, after four hours of sleep. A few years ago, I used to think, with cosmic import, that
I rose so early after drinking binges because I had gotten in touch with some deeper feeling the night before, via the mental state brought on by the lowered inhibitions
of the alcohol. I was sure that booze opened my emotions in some magical way, and consequently diminished my need for sleep, because the
sheer force of my booze-revealed personality brought me around in the morning. This was related to my superstition that pure
souls, like Gandhi, only needed to rest three or four hours a day. Gandhi also started every day with a piping glass of urine,
but I never tried that.
I now understand it's the sugars from the alcohol slamming into my system which shake my pillow, and that my spiritual-psycho-soul
explanation was delusional, wacky bullshit.
I use this private parable to remind myself that this year's heartfelt, well-rendered, sincere understanding is next year's
idiot shame, and that the things I say now, I should always preface by speaking, "I may be totally wrong, but..."
The greatest majority of historical evidence says that I am.
Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some
There is a Facebook group.
You will regret following me on Twitter here.
About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit
things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.
If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at email@example.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am
glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.
: RSS1.0, RSS2.0
© 1974-2011 Paul Ford
Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose.
As a hobby I write.
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Forgot to tell you about this.
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An essay for TheMorningNews.org.
People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately.
Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford.
Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford.
Nanolaw with Daughter.
Why privacy mattered.
0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford.
It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so
that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So:
Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand
below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every
Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came
unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...)
That Shaggy Feeling.
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Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford.
I'll have no one to blame but future me.
Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford.
(1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and
the historical fallacy.
The Moral Superiority of the Streetcar.
(1) Long-form journalism fixes everything. (2) The moral superiority of the streetcar. (3) I like big bus and I cannot lie.