By Paul Ford
Suffix indicating company, conglomerate - an oft-obsolete collection of social and economic boundaries which provided a rational,
limited economic order in the days before cred.
They survived, the great beasts of commerce and social structure, but often they survived in the strangest form; the buildings
are gone and the bodies lost, the paintings of the CEOs crumbled to dust, but their agents remain, wandering aimlessly or pointedly around some net or other, seeking to protect their property, shocking the system with trojan horses, adapting and evolving without check,
sneaking around and lying to the other agents. Some have their licenses removed - and are thus chased by other agents.
It is a marvelous thing, and at times there are representations of some smart young thing, fresh out of CMU, MIT, or CIT,
or any other three-letter acronym of engineering excellence, and he or she sends out code to come up against the remains of
a division of a softco, the word going out through hidden channels, and we gather as spectators, ghost lines in an infinite
stadium, to gasp collectively at the end of, for instance, the intellectual property protection division of Mercedes-Benz-Ford-Jaguar,
the agents of the giant tricked into giving up their red-beam secrets, those secrets turned back against them, recursive honeypots
swallowing the creatures, all drawn up as pretty as an oscilloscope, until finally the servers are tracked, the code turned
inside out, the code disseminated and displayed.
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.
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.