By Paul Ford
Each bachelor of the bio-genetic future will own a shirt tree. The seed packets will feature handsome men wearing bright-colored,
The bachelor will plant the seed in loose soil and measure the sleeves each week. If he favors a loose fit, or his middle
is padded, he waits an extra week. A complete shirt, with buttons and attached collar, takes four weeks to grow. A banker's
shirt requires special nitrates and a blue lamp.
Sweat resistant, these shirts breathe, stripping the carbon atoms from CO2. The wearers smell fresh and woodsy. Everyone understands the risk of misengineering,
and 60 Minutes Online features some badly squeezed men in a shocking demonstration of the "python pullover." But the plant
is too cheap and the shirts to nicely wrought; sales do not turn slack. Rather, sales turns slacks, as pre-pressed slacks
grow underground, like potatoes, with vinelike belts sprouting above.
Eventually, the necktie plant is introduced. A shoe tree. Underwear is grown from moss, worn once, and mulched. Socks are
knitted by the thorns of roses. Men draw on the resources of the glove bush, and pull a tie pin--the stamen of a modified
pansy--from its flower. Dressed impeccably, with natural grace, they wander the open streets, between the the irridescent
hanging buildings, and raise their hats, the head-shaped leaves of a re-created birch, in greeting.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out.
Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley.
Welcome to the Company.
“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”.
Forgot to tell you about this.
“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”.
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.
Antilunchism, by Paul Ford.
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.