The Erotic Engine

The Erotic Engine : How Pornography Has Powered Mass Communication, from Gutenberg to Google

3.34 (44 ratings by Goodreads)
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Pornography: The force for change that has been written out of the history of world culture.

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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 310 pages
  • 158 x 232 x 24mm | 521.63g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0385667361
  • 9780385667364
  • 1,159,151

Table of contents

Part One: Drawing, Painting, Carving, Writing
One The Oldest Impression
Two The “Hottentot Venus” and the History of Civilization
Three The Virgin and the Naughty Monkey
Four Fleshing the Press
Part Two: Mechanical Reproduction
Five Exposure Time
Six Stag Nation
Seven The Format War
Eight “U” Tube
Nine Erotica Online
Ten Virtual World FAQ
Eleven The Games People Play
Part Three: The Modern Pornography Industry
Twelve The Commercialization of the Internet
Thirteen Pornography Outstrips the Mainstream
Part Four: The Strange Future of Mass Communication
Fourteen Words Get in the Way
Fifteen Out of the MUD
Sixteen Emergent Sex and Non-emergent Technology
Seventeen The Law of Unintended Consequences
Eighteen Down but Not Out
Nineteen A Touchy Subject
For Further Reading
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About Patchen Barss

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 a director of communications in the field of advanced scientific research.
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Review quote

"From the first cave drawings to how 'jiggle physics' advanced computer graphics to the 'twitterdildonics' of the future, a thorough, accessible, smart and insightful look at how pornography has driven communication technology throughout history."
-- Josey Vogels, sex and relationships columnist and author of Bedside Manners: Sex Etiquette Made Easy

"With an argument rich in fascinating stories and compelling characters, Patchen Barss proves this page-turner's startling thesis: pornography inspires advanced forms of communication. The Erotic Engine is enlightening, entertaining, and intellectually titillating."
--Micah Toub, author of Growing Up Jung: Coming of Age as the Son of Two Shrinks

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Rating details

44 ratings
3.34 out of 5 stars
5 9% (4)
4 32% (14)
3 43% (19)
2 16% (7)
1 0% (0)
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