Friday, March 23, 2007

So Klosterman Wants to Understand Internet Porn...

Today’s blog entry is actually a direct response to Chuck Klosterman, author of Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, which has to be one of the funniest books to come out in the past few years. In his essay on Internet porn, Klosterman writes:

In less than a decade, millions of Americans went from (1) not knowing what the internet was, to (2) knowing what it was but not using it, to (3) having an email address, to (4) using email pretty much everyday, to (5) being unable to exist professionally or socially without it. For 98 percent of the world, the speed and sweep of that evolution was too great to fathom. Consequently, we learned how to use tools that most of us don’t understand. This has always been the case with technology, but not quite to this extent… I could explain how a car works to a ten-year-old. Conversely, I don’t understand anything about the construction of the internet…

This is why amateur pornography became so integral to the adoption of internet technology: It not only made people excited about using the Web (because sex is prurient and arousing), but it also made people comfortable with using the Web (because it’s organic and unsophisticated). Sex is so undeniably visceral that anyone can relate to it… This is not a pixeled construction of some Never-Neverland character from Tron; this is some girl you saw at Pizza Hut. Amateur pornography grounds us in our reality.

Well, Mr. Klosterman, if you really want to understand how the internet works in terms of delivering your porn, here are the essential basics:

HTML – In an amazing feat, actually takes ones and zeros of data and magically turns them into pictures of naked body parts and “visceral” acts for the world to see. On par with the invention of fire, the wheel, and sliced bread?

XML/RSS – Allows both the lazy and truly devoted to subscribe to feeds of those pictures and “visceral” acts. After all, why should people have to go out and search for new porn when they can have it delivered to them automatically?

P2P/BitTorrent – Lets people share their pictures and videos of “visceral acts” so that others can download them for free an infinite number of times. Seriously, this accounts for about 80% of the entire internet’s traffic.

Bandwidth – Geeks might call this the transmission capacity of cables along which those ones and zeros of data travel. But the bottom line is that having more bandwidth could mean the difference between downloading 4 pornographic videos in a night, or 40 (or if you’re a teenage boy, 400).

Hopefully, that helps you better understand your "reality". A friend of mine has been arguing for years that the success of a technology is directly proportional to the ability of the pornography industry to adopt it. You two should have a pow-wow.

NOTE: I’m sure a certain segment of Nerfherder readers actually get more turned on by terms like HTML, XML, and RSS than they do over naked pictures. This is what your parents always feared.


At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrific entry. I have a story for you about that book. Really? 80% of traffic? How's the Linux project coming? Fitz

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Robert J. Domanski said...

Really, P2P networks truly do take up most of the web's traffic (80% roughly is the number that sticks out in my head).

What's your story on Klosterman's book?


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