Does the Left Hand Know What the Right Hand's Doing?

Ampersand of Alas, a Blog has been catching serious flak from his large feminist audience for cutting a deal with pr0n websites to boost their Google rankings via links from his own highly-linked site.
Brandon Berg at Catallarchy explains why, even if you think pornography is teh evil!!!, the rage is misplaced:

Search-engine optimization is a negative-sum game. By increasing his search engine rankings, one pornographer can take business away from other pornographers, but total revenues for the pornography industry as a whole remain the same. The net effect on the pornography industry is negative--their costs go up due to rent-seeking, but their revenues stay the same--so even though Ampersand is helping some pornographers, that benefit is more than offset by the harm he's doing to others. In effect, he's taking money out of the pockets of pornographers and using it to publish feminist propaganda!

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  • ||

    Of course, if many other offices have the same filter mine provides, this is likely to eliminate a lot of his traffic because the filter reads his political site as a porn site and blocks it.

  • ||

    This argument is extremely unconvincing. If one regards pornography as evil, one has a moral duty not to cooperate in evil, regardless of the net effect on the evil industry.

  • ||

    Kabala,

    Since when there some universal moral rule that says that if one thinks something is immoral, one cannot "cooperate" with said thing in any way, even if said "cooperation" results in hurting said thing?

    You're a dumb bastard...really. Either that, or a really weak comment troll.

  • ||

    Alas, a Blog? No. Wrong. It should be Alas, Blogylon.

    Jeez, to have to think of everything?

  • ||

    Well, this a new one. Never been to Alas, a Blog before. After glancing over their content and their voluminous 'Comments Moderation' manifesto I don't think I'll waste my time again.

  • ||

    So, have the non-free-market types given up on their contention that advertising is evil because it artificially stimulates demand for products? If it can be proved that advertising for a product or for a category of products only affects market share, not the absolute amounts of the stuff or service sold, then & has a prima facie case for what he's doing. I expect he's wrong about the numbers, though.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Kevin,

    I, for one, had no idea that lude and explicit pictures of sexual practices existed in this series of tubes we call 'The Interweb', until I stumbled upon "Alas, A Blog". Since then, I've been forking over every extra dollar I have to see said sexual pictures & videos.

  • fyodor||

    If Brandon Berg is correct, then banning advertising would help the economy by ridding business of the need for this mutually destructive practice?

    While I would never play the rhetorical game of calling advertising's effect "evil" or "artificial", I have a hard time believing advertising's effect on overall demand is really absolute zero.

  • ||

    In other words, online porn is a fungible commodity?

  • fyodor||

    If Brandon Berg is correct, then banning advertising would help the economy by ridding business of the need for this mutually destructive practice?

    While I would never play the rhetorical game of calling advertising's effect "evil" or "artificial", I have a hard time believing advertising's effect on overall demand is really absolute zero.

  • ||

    He's not saying that advertising is a zero sum game. He's saying that boosting a site's position on a google search is a zero sum game, as other sites are then moved down.

  • ||

    Pro L, we were saving that name for you to use.

  • ||

    Karen,

    No, I don't want it. In Alas, Babylon, the author destroyed Tampa with a three-megaton blast. Sorry, but I don't like that image. At all.

    You know, I can't really come up with a truly clever blog name that isn't in use. At least, not right now.

    Bourboneutics?

  • ||

    "banning advertising would help the economy by ridding business of the need for this mutually destructive practice?"

    If that were true, then tobacco companies would have posted record profits in the years after they stopped most kinds of advertising. Oh, wait ...

  • ||

    I never actually finished Alas, Babylon. Had I known that they destroyed Tampa, I never would have made such a tasteless suggestion.

  • ||

    Karen,

    Never to forgive, never to forget. On the other hand, that nice Verne boy launched a lunar expedition from here.

    Hey, how about Vomitorium? Everyone will think it has something to do with vomiting, when, of course, it actually means an arched exit from a theater. If I had a blog, I'd like the name to have a double or seemingly double meaning.

  • ||

    The problem with this hypothesis is that, by offering a higher quality or wider variety of porn, sellers can increase their overall market size. Of course, since feminist dogma considers all porn to be solely for degradation of women and thus wholy interchangable, they may fall for this expaination. Not that I would know anything about the demand in this market.

  • ||

    In complete seriousness, I think you have something with Vomitorium, especially for a political blog.

  • ||

    Well, I'm not blogging at this time, so you can have it. The domain looks to be taken, but you don't have to have it to start a blog by that name. It would be cool to have a blog with lots of Roman imagery, though.

    Oh, here's a similar word: Logorrhea. Sounds nasty with the "rhea" ending, but it actually means "pathologically incoherent, repetitious speech", which is spot-on for a blog. I haven't looked, but I bet that one's long gone. It's like schadenfreude or crapulent--all the good words are taken :(

  • ||

    What Dave said: Advertising and search-engine-spider spoofing are totally different animals.

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