“I’m using a kind of primitive hypertext”

I generally have four or five books open around the house — I live alone; I can do this — and they are not books on the same subject. They don’t relate to each other in any particular way, and the ideas they present bounce off one another. And I like this effect. I also listen to audio-books, and I’ll go out for my morning walk with tapes from two very different audio-books, and let those ideas bounce off each other, simmer, reproduce in some odd way, so that I come up with ideas that I might not have come up with if I had simply stuck to one book until I was done with it and then gone and picked up another.

So, I guess, in that way, I’m using a kind of primitive hypertext.

Octavia E. Butler

Quote introduced to me in a convo with LS. Also shared by Édouard U. in his essay “On building knowledge networks” as published in the book How do you use the internet mindfully?.

It’s originally from a discussion between Octavia E. Butler and others at MIT on 19 February 1998. Topics included: The Value of Literacy; The Future of Literacy; Reading Hypertext; The Age of Misinformation; Who Controls the Web; Race, Cyberspace and Equality; Science Fiction and the Black Community; and The Ghetoization of Science Fiction. See also Butler’s introduction to this discussion, “‘Devil Girl From Mars’: Why I Write Science Fiction”.

I finally started reading Lilith’s Brood about a month ago, got started on the second book recently.