God’s Little Toys

Here’s a cool opinion piece in Wired by William Gibson about digital remix culture. He cites William S. Burroughs’ experiments with cut-and-paste and his cut-up experiments as part of his personal inspiration.

When I was a co-op student in college, I wrote in PETOS Basic a computer program to do random Burroughs style cut-up of input sentences. This ran on a Perkin-Elmer infrared spectrometer, back in the days when having standalone computers was uncommon. I typed in passages from Naked Lunch and printed out the mashed up versions and read them to my friends until they asked me to stop. Reading this bit from Gibson reminded me of all that.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

One thought on “God’s Little Toys”

  1. Nate says:

    Hey Dave,

    A computer program to create burroughs-esque cut-ups?!
    That kicks major ass! I’d really like to hear some of it’s creations. Maybe even read by a text-to-talk program.

    We all own the words, man.

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