Eyewitness Noise: 2 July 2001

AI, Canada, Kendall, Israel, and Zithromax

Racter, Come Home
Those intererested in the recent Spielbergian events might want to check out the Web site of Ai Research, for an international research firm seeking to create “real artificial intelligence.” Full disclosure: portions of the site were written or adapted by myself, and I work for Ai as a “content consultant.”

Hockey, Beer, and Beavers
Sunday was Canada Day. Americans like to make fun of Canada, a country small in population, cold in climate, a country rich in bauxite and comedians, disposed towards hockey, beer, and beavers. More rarely, US folk might jealously note that Canada's government provides a comprehensive social safety net, universal health care, and fair, open elections (scroll down), while still managing to encourage entrepreneurial activity. And unlike Americans, many Canadians are proud of their country. Happy Canada Day!

The Greps of Wrath
Kendall Clark clarifies the Global Privileges of Whiteness on MonkeyFist. Clark is a pissed-off leftist of the first (i.e. Menckenian) order, knows his social philosophies cold, and understands Web technology at gut-level (see: Politics of Schemas, Part 1, Part 2 and Three Myths of XML). Intellectually a Sherman tank in a world of Le Cars, Clark packs more pure information into an essay than most anyone else on the Web, usually giving it away for free.

Arrests! Police! The Holy Land!
A fellow with whom the author works (see Stopping by Sharon's, then ascending to Zion, 3rd picture down) was arrested at a West Bank protest in El Khader, Israel with 6 others, including a priest. All were released. Prior to this, on June 21, Jose Bove, famed French McDonald's-basher, was also arrested, with 7 others, in El Khader. Please remember to actively question coverage of Israel in U.S. media, because most of it is biased, neoliberal trash; if you're interested in the Middle East and looking for something more to the center than Indymedia Israel, try the English version of Ha'aretz.

Science Fiction Gods
Don Delillo once analogized the names of medicines to "science fiction gods." Despite a solid week of supplicating myself to Zithromax, vice-emperor of the Pfizer Galaxy, my throat is still sore, and I am moving over to lots of garlic and vitamin C. Perhaps, as my friend suggested, it's the West Nile Virus, and soon I will be released from the stresses of life via an encephalitic blowout, skull shattering from within as I ride the Ftrain.





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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.


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© 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)

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