On the back of the Dark Web series, a channel only available on audible, I decided to listen to another channel, this.

The investigative journalist this time is Jon Ronson, someone I had previously listened to on the recommended TED talks, also through audible, but available on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYemnKEKx0c

For which his topic ‘Strange answers to the psychopath test’ was both informative and reasonably funny.

This series however, is about the porn industry.  Yes, the porn industry.
Specifically taking a look at the effects of a man called Fabian who revolutionised the Pornography industry by helping to bring forth free online porn.  Jon Ronson then traces the effects, the‘butterfly effect’ from Fabian’s developments to understand how it has effected not just those who directly make pornography, but the psychology & outlook towards those who perform in pornography, recent medical & psychological problems, profitisation, and a host of various of other things which are all very interesting.

A Note from the journalist (Jon):

Hi everyone,

Welcome to The Butterfly Effect. It’s sort of about porn, but it’s about a lot of other things. It’s sad, funny, moving and totally unlike some other nonfiction stories about porn – because it isn’t judgmental or salacious. It’s human and sweet and strange and lovely. It’s a mystery story, an adventure. It’s also, I think, a new way of telling a story. This season follows a single butterfly effect. The flap of the butterfly’s wings is a boy in Brussels having an idea. His idea is how to get rich from giving the world free online porn. Over seven episodes I trace the consequences of this idea, from consequence through to consequence. If you keep going in this way, where might you end up? It turns out you end up in the most surprising and unexpected places.

So if you’re thinking, why do I want to listen to a show about the tech takeover of the porn industry, I have two things to say:

  1. Why wouldn’t you want to listen to a show about the tech takeover of the porn industry? That’s a great idea for a show.
  2. Would you want to listen to a show about three women destroying a mysterious Norwegian man’s stamp collection? Well, that happens at the end of episode 2. At the end of Episode 3 a woman becomes convinced that she played a part in a murder committed by an Italian priest. At the end of Episode 4 a boy in Oklahoma is forced to move to a house on the very, very edge of his town.

I hope you like our show,

Jon Ronson

The production values are very high nce again, the narrative flows well, and Jon’s voice is quite soothing.
I would suggest that you listen to it with headphones though because there are times where he is interviewing a person on a porn set and you can hear what is going on in the background.  Not something you want to be listening to loudly on the train.

Take a listen to a sample here.


Anyway, here’s a glance at the individual episodes:

Episode 1- A Nondescript Office Building in Montreal
Jon meets Fabian Thylmann, the guy with the dream that became a programmer & has since revolutionised the pornography industry.  His idea? Make porn free & stream it online.  However the idea had consequences, good & bad, and Jon offers to follow the butterfly effect from the implementation of such an idea and report back to Fabian with his findings.  Fabian talks about looking at the raw data for what people want, when they watch it, development of mobile tools & essentially throwing together a modern team of software engineers to deal with a ‘traditional industry’.

Episode 2- The Fallow Year Between Teen & Milf
Jon finds that with everything tagged & categorized there are certain age groups that are no longer desired, that of women between the ages of 24 – 30.  The follow on effect of this is people are moving onto Custom videos, where a client will come up with an idea, write a script & ask such companies to film & produce their fantasies.

Episode 3 – Something Happened
Jon furthers delves into the world of Custom videos, which he argues may never have existed if it were not for Fabian.  Argues that in the world where every desire is only a click away in an instant, clearer desires are simply an email away.

Episode 4- Children
Deals with the availability issue.  That simply clicking ‘I am over 18’ allows children to access pornographic content.  Interviews a mum whose daughter (13) found out she worked in porn by videos shared at her school.  Thus the unintended consequence of free streaming porn is that children will be able to access it, and it will begin shaping their views, sex education etc. on what is & isn’t acceptable. Jon also meets a boy whose life was irreversibly altered by such a change.

Episode 5 – The Yes Ladder
Explores the phenonomen of Ashley Madison (a website generally thought to be for adulterers), the hack that brought it down and caused much perversion in society, plus the relationship between free online porn & the affiliate marketing which leads such users to Ashley Madison.  Research into male female % and the use of bots

Episode 6 – Anxiety
Explores Anxiety problems brought on through several knock on effects with access to easily available pornography and changing behaviours that such access brings.

Episode 7 – A Leap of Faith
Jon sets up a phone call between a traditional pornography maker and Fabian for who the traditional producer blames Fabian for the huge struggles he’s found since Fabians revolution of porn.

Get a free trial of audible with 2 free books, listen to channels like this for free, & then if you want….just quit before 30 days & you get to keep everything… sounds like a pretty good deal to me.