About

Ribbonfarm is a longform blog devoted to unusual takes on both familiar and new themes. It was founded in 2007 by Venkatesh Rao, who serves as Editor-in-Chief.

Sarah Perry, Kevin Simler, Joe Kelly, Carlos Bueno, Renee DiResta, and Taylor Pearson serve as editors-at-large and comprise the Ribbonfarm Editorial Board. We also feature a roster of residents with bylines and multiple contributions, and contributors with one-off contributions.

New readers may want to start here.

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. We think it is a great metaphor for a blog trying to get a 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

Our tagline from 2007 to 2019 was experiments in refactored perceptions. That is a geek joke. It refers to changing how you see the world by trying to rewire the software inside your head through writing.

Since 2019, our tagline has been constructions in magical thinking. Think of it as disciplined solipsism and escapism.