Monday, July 17, 2006

My Rear-view Mirror

I am sitting in my office in Las Vegas watching Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park Live. Not on TV, on a live webcam. I can hear it and see it. It is amazing, I have never been to Yellowstone and I am sure it is more awesome there and live, but this is pretty cool too. I can also watch the hot springs at Mammoth Cave. I read advertisements in the paper for daycare facilities that have webcams so you can check up on your kid (and the Daycare Center) during your working hours. Many Vegas Wedding Chapels have live webcams so your friends and family can view your wedding from a distance. Traffic systems will now supply the public with views of their webcams to you can drive to work avoiding accidents and bad traffic.

Do you know who pushed the whole live webcam idea? Do you know who the first innovators were in live viewing over the internet? It was the pornography industry. In fact the porn industry drove MOST of the innovations in the internet. After the colleges and the inventors came up with the internet ideas, the porn industry took them and made them moneymakers. Remember bulletin boards services? Porn brought pictures to them. Remember the first video clips? Porn again. How about links in emails and spam emails, and pictures in emails? Porn, porn, porn. Electronic check transfers over internet, credit card transfers, phone company transfers, all porn. Streaming video, live video, video on demand and even many of the download protocols were perfected and packaged by the porn industry. Now the porn industry is bringing us video to our cell phones and soon holographic, 3-D images to our living rooms. Why?

Why? Because billions of dollars are spent on porn every year and sin sells, sin is addictive, and this sin is packagable and private. Any search you do with the word “girl” or “picture” in the name will bring you some porn sights. Millions of them. Since the porn industry has perfected the internet for us we now have an amazing research and communication tool as world is made flat again and I can watch Old Faithful from Las Vegas. But I look into the rear view mirror and I see a lot of rubble and ruined lives left on the road behind us and I wonder if the cost was worth it. To quote Malcolm in Jurrasic Park “We spent so much time wondering if we could that we didn’t find out if we SHOULD.”

The largest piece of rubble I see in my rear view mirror is innocence and goodness. I believe they are in America’s past now only to be reminded of in brief fits of crisis and disaster but no longer a regular attraction on the road through the country. We are no better or worse than other countries but another quote comes to mind from Alexis d’Tocqueville, “America is great because America is good, when America ceases to be good it will cease to be great.” Be good to each other.

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1 comment:

John J. Pitney, Jr. said...

The last line expresses a noble sentiment, but Tocqueville did not write it. See:
http://www.tocqueville.org/pitney.htm