Day: Mar 12

4 intervals from 12 Mar 2001 (Irishizes Golding Ezra)

1:12 pm

Scott writes:

"You are not normal. You are not like the televised version of yourself. You have ideas. You are not a boring person. You read stories and tell them. You fall back on bad culture sometimes, on Friends and bad novels and the low kind of Internet porn, but it's only a small incident in a larger journey. There is a percentage that is revealed by standardized tests. You have a certain place in that percentage. You slide down the bell curve towards your own special genius. I know you. You wouldn't have found Paul's site if you weren't on the curve. And you are not normal."

"You have known always When you see them on television you realize your own. That is all of us. You are very, very normal. And it is hard, and I have no answer. Because I, like you, and very normal. The white eyes of their frames as they; for the ghosts; of the bodies."

The idea is to create an incantatory piece that moves from "You are not normal" to "You are normal," taking the reader from a feeling of being unique and disconnected to a feeling of connection with a larger environment. Like anything, it's harder to do than my wee wit allows.

4:15 pm

I've just been to Pittsburgh and Scranton, PA. Two of America's finest cities.

Ftrain-loving foreigners, especially you bastards from Finmark or the Dutcherlands or wherever: Scranton, PA is the center of America. It's where truth is, right by the bus station, waiting for nickels to fall out the sweatpants pockets of Greyhound travelers.

In Pittsburgh, I saw a good friend for a few days, and I paid a Mexican woman $30 to urinate in my mouth rented a few movies. Some student has spraypainted "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" onto the math building. This is a catchphrase inspired by a bad Japanese-to-English translation in a video game.

So that was Pittsburgh.

I was even less excited by what I saw in Scranton. As I walked to the Consolidated High Fat American Restaurant for a milkshake and hamburger, a giant half-man, half-octopus creature devoured all the "flags" in the East Scranton High marching band, then moved on to the drummers. Screaming, fire engines, etc.

Everyone around me is depressed. I feel great. What's my secret? I have a giant throbbing singing machine that is installed in my tongue.

10:07 pm

Q: What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? A: It is wrong to make light of domestic abuse.

Q: What do you call someone who hangs out with musicians? A: A drummer!

10:08 pm

Right now most document design allows the hierarchy to speak to the document, but not the other way around - that is, the table of contents and index point in. What the Web should allow is a way for the document to point out and dynamically affect the hierarchies of content themselves. The documents need to be able to speak to the hieararchy, rather than just having the hierachy speak to the documents. Hence the recursive doc that knows about itself. This is the "conscious" document.




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 time.


There is a Facebook group.


You will regret following me on Twitter here.


Enter your email address:

A TinyLetter Email Newsletter

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 ford@ftrain.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.


Syndicate: RSS1.0, RSS2.0
Links: RSS1.0, RSS2.0


© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

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...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

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. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

Tables of Contents