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

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
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
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Anchor Canada (first published September 7th 2010)
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Beverly Akerman
i thought this book had a great idea, but it turned out to be an idea that might have been better suited to a magazine article. it became repetitive though the original notion,that porn was a major driver of virtually every new communications technology, is still pretty amazing.
Matt
Aug 09, 2012 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cultural-studies, lse
Patchen Barss' work serves as a thorough, albeit simplistic, survey of the impact of role of pornography in the process of innovation. Breezy, punctuated writing serves to make this work enjoyable and engaging. However, Barss needs a bit of academic weight to bring his points home at times.
Leandra Vane
The Erotic Engine is a wonderful history of mass communications that includes pornography, erotica, and the sexual yearnings of the users and inventors of all mediums in technology. Overall I thought this book was very well balanced – the author shed positive light on the great things happening with porn and technology, and the innovators behind them, while acknowledging the downfalls and imperfections of the trends, as well as the less than savory personalities in the industry. I recommend The ...more
Desiree
Sep 11, 2013 Desiree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Interesting read! A little of it was kind of disturbing!

The first third of the book was pre-Gutenberg, but once the computer stuff started happening, it was hard to put down. Porn has driven technology, so I guess we have to give it some credit in the respect that most of us can benefit from broadband, 500 cable channels, etc! He covers all the topics like the vcr format battle (but not the dvd battle), cable, pay channels, PayPal and the like, etc.

The future seems really strange though, the stu
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Joni
Oct 27, 2011 Joni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starting from cave paintings and ending with Second Life, this book follows the erotic elephant in the room through 40,000 years of communications history. Porn innovates first, and everyone else follows. VHS, YouTube, PayPal, the Internet in general, cable TV, all of these were structured around the need to market pornography. Pretty interesting.
David
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Laura
Oct 05, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Kind of dull.
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Mary
A thorough study, but still a quick read.
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4061334
Patchen Barss has written about science, technology and culture for almost 20 years.

His new book, The Erotic Engine, examines the powerful influence of pornography on advances in mass communication.

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 Televisi
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