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5 Ways Porn Created the Modern World

#2.
The Internet: Even More Powered By Porn Than You Thought

And that brings us to smut's latest, greatest achievement: The creation of that Internet thingy you've been reading about in all the papers lately.


Extra! Extra! Free boobs, you guys! Holy shit!

It's obvious that the internet wouldn't have been nearly as popular if it wasn't also place to watch people get their hump on from the comfort of your own suspiciously locked home office. But it could be argued that if it wasn't for hardcore, nasty, orifice-violating pornography, the internet we all know today might not have been born at all. We're not saying porn invented the internet -- we all know that was Al Gore channeling aliens in an abandoned lighthouse - we're just saying that almost every piece of modern internet technology can be traced back to the adult trade. Or at least that's the opinion of Jonathan Coopersmith: A professor at Texas A&M University who teaches the history of technology. For example, during the bad old years of the internet, porn sites were the only places that asked you to pay for stuff online: Viewing content via fee-based subscriptions, credit card verification and internet billing systems all originated with and were perfected by porn. Today, all those things are employed regularly by multinational companies like Amazon, E-bay and iTunes. And because the best kind of filthy sex is moving filthy sex, the consumers soon required more than just still pictures to float their lonely, one-man boats. So porn was also one of the first and only businesses to offer streaming videos, helping to popularize the practice elsewhere, and even spurring the development of Flash technology.


Internet, I am your father!

The porn industry was the Lewis and Clark of the internet age: Bravely exploring new territories and orifices, proving to serious businesses that there's gold in them-there hilly mounds. That's not conjecture on our part: In their early days, companies like Google, Yahoo and AOL all carefully studied online smut (for research, dammit!) to copy their business strategies.

#1.
Smut May Help Clean Up the Internet

It's still happening today, too. All sorts of online businesses are taking their cues from porn, especially when it comes to fighting online piracy. See, the X-rated industry is actually one of the leading developers of anti-piracy software. And that's just one of many reasons why we should all have been paying attention to that huge porn industry conference a few months ago (Boobs. Boobs were the other reasons). They even ambitiously stated that they intend to fully eliminate online piracy by 2012, and we're not even going to mock them for that lofty goal, for the same reason smart men don't mock their girlfriends: They can withhold sex from them.


It might just turn out that the Mayans were right.

The reason why porn is always on the cutting edge of technology is easy to see: Just like a sheltered Midwest girl starting her first year at college, the porn industry is both willing and eager to experiment. Most "normal" companies have a carefully calculated budget strategy laid out for their next decade of business. They simply cannot afford to deviate from that plan, so there's no room to just screw around and find new market positions. All porn does is screw around and find new positions! It also helps that a lot of the porn executives are relatively young people always willing to try new things (provided lots of lube and a safety word). There's a lot of talk in the porn industry about new technology, like 3D porn, and porn-streaming apps for the iPad, the latter being announced on the very same day the device was announced by Apple. Not twenty four hours from the very concept of a device being revealed, and already we could confidently say: There will be tits on that.


Next order of business: Porn on microwave displays, and I'm not just talking about typing '69' into the timer, Jenkins.

Today, all the big talk in the smut peddler circuit is about mobile adult content. Already there are plans for services like real-time adult chat rooms on cell phones - as if perverts needed any more assistance masturbating on the bus. But porn isn't that short-sighted. They've got long-term goals too: In the words of Ilan Bunimovitz, the CEO of Private Media Group, a huge priority for the next decade is funding new advancements in Artificial Intelligence to use for pornographic purposes. On the one hand, we're all very excited at the prospect of experiencing AI in our lifetimes. Because, as history has shown, that new technology has a good chance of being commercially available within the next couple of years with porn's influence pumping away behind it. On the other hand, it is now a very real possibility that the first question we will ask this newly-birthed digital life form -- a being that, by its very existence, challenges our whole perception of what it means to be human -- will be: "You gonna take your top off, or what?"


I don't like the way you stare at me, Dave.

Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a freelance online journalist, Japanese-English-Polish translator and life-long Internet porn "scholar." You can contact him at c.j.strusiewicz@gmail.com.

For of Cracked's insight into porn, check out 6 Ways That Porn Runs The World and 10 Popular Porn Scenarios That Seem Highly Implausible.

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