Ribbonfarm is a longform blog founded in 2007 by Venkatesh Rao and devoted to unusual takes on familiar themes. What we call “refactored perception.” Sarah Perry serves as Contributing Editor. We also feature a rotating cast of invited resident writers, who each write 4-5 loosely related pieces over the course of a year.

New readers may want to start here.

Ribbonfarm has been featured/mentioned on SlashdotKottke.org , BoingBoing, The Economistthe New York Times and a bunch of other places.

About Venkatesh Rao

Venkat started writing ribbonfarm in 2007. His other writing includes Tempoa book about decision-making, and two ebooks, Be Slightly Evil and The Gervais PrincipleBesides ribbonfarm, his writing can be found at Aeon magazineInformation Week and Forbes. He lives in Seattle.


About Sarah Perry

Sarah began contributing to Ribbonfarm in 2015, and serves as Contributing Editor. She blogs at The View from Hell, Carcinisation and a variety of other sites. She is also the author of Every Cradle is a Gravea book about the ethics of birth and suicide. She is based in San Antonio. 

About the name…

The name ribbonfarm refers to the ribbon farms of 18th century Detroit — strips of lands 2-3 miles long, each with 2-300 yards along the Detroit river waterfront — that the then French governor used to resolve water disputes. I thought it was a great metaphor for a blog trying to get its thin slice of attention from the great river of eyeballs that is the Web. Here is a picture (courtesy, Detroit Public Library) of an 1818 map of Detroit that shows the ribbon farms.

Ribbon farms

About the tag-line

Experiments in refactored perceptions is a geek joke. It refers to changing how you see the world by trying to rewire the software inside your head through writing.