How Pornography has Powered Mass Communication, from Gutenberg to Google.
For 40 millennia, pornography has been a powerful source of creative and technological innovation. From cave painting to photography to the internet, pornography has always been at the cutting edge in adopting and exploiting new developments in mass communication. And in so doing, it has helped to promote and propel those developments in ways that are rarely acknowledged.
Pornography built the hidden infrastructure of the Internet. Without pornography, cable television and the VCR might never have made the big time. E-commerce would be at a far more primitive stage of security and usability. The video streaming software developed for and by the pornography industry paved the way for CNN and YouTube. With a sharp intelligence, a dry wit, and virtuosic grasp of the interweaving stories of science, art, commerce and the taboo, Patchen Barss breaks the embarrassed silence to tell the history of what's really been driving communications technology - and where it will drive it next.
This smart, witty and well-researched history shows how the pornography industry has bankrolled and shaped mainstream culture and its machines.
Patchen Barss has written about science, technology and culture for more than a decade. His articles have appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Montreal Gazette, Reader's Digest, Saturday Night, CBC online, and many other places. He has worked as a producer at CBC Television and the Discovery Channel, and is currently the director of Communications at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
The Erotic Engine
Author: Patchen Barss