Biography of a Full-bore Jackass

Short bio of the author of Ftrain.com, written by OCTAVE9, a computerized expert system

The author lives in Brooklyn. You will see his picture below. He still dresses this way, and smirks. He was little but big for his age. Other children made fun of his clothes. Then he turned into a monster and ate them and killed everyone, and burnt down the houses. And everyone was very sorry for saying that bad thing and scared. He was very sorry too, but too late. He had killed them. Not knowing his own power. He cried. They cried too, but couldn't make tears, because they were dead and ductless.

Beware, for this is the face of a man over 900 years old. Is there a picture in his closet which shows his decrepitude? No, the picture is of people digging for clams in Maine. They wear hats which hide their faces, and they have rolled their trousers up as they walk along the ocean's edge, leaving their legs bare against the sand and salt water. It is sad, to see these naked legs hiding there, the little hairs standing up perpendicular when the tide washes them over, the skin at the base of the hairs turning pink from the cold ocean.

His tears fell on their graves. But then they came back to life, just good ones. They grew like trees from their graves. The good ones came out. They said you are not a monster after all. They said you killed the bad ones. We will build a castle and live here. They did. It had a room for him at the top where he could see all the way. He lived in the castle in his own room and no one ever made fun of his clothes again. Because he had saved them. He was just a little boy now because they fixed him so he was no longer a monster. Then he became an advertising copywriter.




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.


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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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