Monday, July 04, 2011

ACS-TSA Policy Gap Forum

Of all the papers at one half-day session it is a note in passing by Jenny Wilson about porn that constitutes the only story.

The statement she made though "The single most important factor is the porn factor because pornography has always been at the cutting edge of technology" is actually true though.

A book The Erotic Engine details the whole story. As the books "blurb" says;

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. Without pornography, the internet would not have grown so quickly. The e-commerce payment systems that are now commonplace would be at a far more primitive stage security and usability. Without video streaming software developed for pornography sites, CNN would be struggling to deliver news clips. Without advertising from sex sites, Google could not have afforded YouTube.

This smart, witty and well-researched history shows how a vast secret trade has bankrolled and shaped mainstream culture and its machines.

The important thing is this was true of ALL TECHNOLOGY. The photograph was first used to take pictures of scantily clad women. The success of VHS over Beta is at least in part attributed to the fact that the VHS industry embraced the porn industry while Beta shunned it.

Are these technologies any less good because that is how they were first used?

Jenny's point is the real benefits of the NBN will be stifled if the NBN cannot also be used to its full capability for entertainment.

One could add though, that on the flip side, an uncontrollable content stream of "objectionable" content could be equally damaging.

The forum itself was good, building as it did on a special issue of the TJA. My own contribution will be written up and posted on the DigEcon research site soon.

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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