A Philosopher's Blog

iPorn

Posted in Technology by Michael LaBossiere on April 26, 2010
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While Apple’s iPad is designed to restrict the user’s access to things like Flash animations, a porn company has found a way to get around Apple’s restrictions (and the app store). Apparently users can now access porn via their iPads, thus creating iPorn. I suppose that is one use for the iPad given that it has a decent viewing screen and is…um..small enough to hold with one hand. I suspect that this porn option will help boost sales of protective coverings for the iPad’s screen. While Apple will probably try to close this loophole, the porn folks will no doubt find a way to reach around it once again.

The arrival of porn on the iPad is hardly a shock. After all, porn has been at the cutting edge of technology all along (movies, VHS, DVD, the web). Years ago I jokingly came up with an Iron Law of Technology: “any technology that can be misused will be misused.” Shortly afterwards I added “Probably for porn.” This Iron Law has been dead on ever since.

One reason why porn keeps up with technology is that it is a moneymaking business without any pretensions of art or merit. New technology means new ways of making money, hence the early adoption. Another reason is that although porn is a huge industry, most of its consumers would rather not have their consumption known. Technology adds new ways to view porn in private and in secret. For example, before VHS, DVD and the web, folks had to go to sleazy porn theaters to see videos, thus risking being seen and judged. Now people can view it in the privacy of their own home (or cubicle at work). A third reason is that porn is probably like other addictive things-a person always needs something more. Technology can help add that something more, be it HD porn or 3D porn (seriously-they are already filming it).

Another possible reason why porn is generally on the technological edge is that perhaps people who are tech geeks are also inclined to like porn. This might be because most tech geeks are men and most men like porn. Or it might be that tech geeks often lack access to the genuine article and hence are drawn to porn. Then again, married men often view porn, so maybe that reason is not a primary motivation. It might be, as per the episode of Futurama, that porn is driving towards its ultimate form: robotic “women” to replace real women. There are already crude sex-robots and the R&D on such machines is continuing. If the past is any indication, it is just a matter of time before sex-bots are available on Amazon.com.

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