The Dial, the Number

A work of autobiography by Scott Rahin

This be my life story. My ass is dragging.

Part 1: Finding My Bearings
Arrivals and departures.
Sunday, January 6, 2002
9 sections.
The Mysterious Stain
I was born in Pennsylvania, and my biggest mistake was meeting Paul Ford.
Monday, January 31, 2000
4 sections.
Oat Songs in the Dropsy, an Album
An album of songs intended to be used in the background.
Monday, June 10, 2002
5 sections.
Crucifixion for Better Abs
A cranky meditation (not really, that's a pun) on marketing other people's sacred beliefs and approaches.
Tuesday, July 9, 2002
Speaking impolitely to the dead.
Monday, August 19, 2002
Where I'm At
Scott Rahin writes in with an update.
Thursday, September 19, 2002
The Ugliness Club
Coming to a conclusion about my place in someone's personal history.
Monday, November 25, 2002
The End of Technology
A night out, then over.
Thursday, February 6, 2003
A quick conversation between Paul & me, in which I gain the upper hand effortlessly.
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Marketing Idea
Waiting for news of poison gas, Paul & I banter.
Thursday, February 13, 2003
The Astrakhan Awareness Network
In which I encourage Paul to get a haircut.
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
At-Risk Teens
They need to do some yachting.
Monday, March 3, 2003
The Escape
At the end of winter.
Monday, April 14, 2003




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)

Tables of Contents