Brief Corrective

Responding to responses.

I would like to issue some corrective statements regarding my last post, I must not think bad thoughts, after receiving quite a few emails.

I don't really think human beings are evil. Just some days. I have no consistent system. I follow my own half-baked socialist sociobiological materialism influenced by linguistics and my early Christian training. This set of concepts could be called "Ftrain Social Theory v0.00001." Notice that there will be 99,998 more updates before we reach version 1.0. I will return to it at some point in the future, or not.

There is a drive to altruism as well as to selfishness, as a friend pointed out in an email. We are not purely selfish creatures, and I was wrong to call us such. Social activism and questions of moral responsibility are one of the many things about which I enjoy writing; they are not the pure focus of my life, but rather layers over the rest of my day-to-day meanderings.

I don't advocate violence, especially not stupid violence.

Some other things I'd like to clarify: I never owned a pony, or served in a war. I am not distantly related to the Astors. I apologize for implying that I was. My father is not really Don Delillo, nor my mother a Carmelite nun. It was my neighbor who had the size 26 feet, not myself. I never stabbed my wife with a pen-knife.

I am not actually Mandy Patinkin's pianist. Despite what the photo says, I am not on a mission of love to Tel Aviv.

But I am flying to Tel Aviv, to stay for a few months and do a little work, and will not be writing any more for Ftrain this week. If you live in Europe, look up in the sky early Friday morning and wave as I go by. I will be the giant gleaming silver ghost, jet exhaust sketching a wiggly curve over the horizon, a far-off dot in your clear, sharp eyes. I will (of course!) wave back.




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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