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Why digital humanities are sexy…

pornhub_8_22Ok, let’s say you’re a guy who’s spent most of your adult life carving out a career for yourself as a user experience designer and information specialist. You build a nice little life designing enterprise software solutions and websites for Fortune 500 companies. You’re not rich, but you’re comfortably entrenched in the middle class with a respectable disposable income. You’re a yuppie. You drive a hybrid SUV. You own your home, with a hot tub and a pool and a pool and a flat screen TV in every room. It’s an ok life. Then, lets say one day you have a nervous breakdown and lose your fucking mind and decide “hey, why don’t I go back to school and get a doctorate in English so that I can be an expert in some little tiny aspect of culture that no one gives a shit about and I can give all this up and never earn a living wage again!!!! Wheeee!!!” (turns out people who’ve lost their fucking minds say “Wheeee!!!” a lot… at least in this example). So, you go through life seeing no real crossover between those two careers, and realizing that you’re going to be eating ramen the rest of your life and your head hurts a lot…

But then every once in a while you see something on Gizmodo like this and you say “That! That right there! That is the ultimate intersection of academic research and information visualization. That right there!”

So this is an info graphic, designed by that details the top videos on (which is a porn site and NSFW, in case anyone is stupid enough to click on that without thinking) as aggregated by category and sorted by popularity. There is untold data about the human condition wrapped up with a tight tiny little bow here. Like I can tell that as a whole, we as a people generally prefer to sexually fetishize teenage girls (no surprise). But even more interestingly, I can tell that Orientalism doesn’t so much exist as a sexual fetish in and of itself, but instead a 50% multiplier of whatever sexual fetish it’s applied to. As opposed to transgenderism which doesn’t combine nearly as well with other fetishes. Interracial Otherness works like Orientalism, but slightly better. So it depends on what the base category is that gets multiplied. Almost EVERYBODY wants to see Ray J fuck Kim Kardashian, but EVERYBODY wants to see a Japanese schoolgirl get it on. People are freaks.

So yeah, I’d totally love to see people doing more of these with other literary topics, and in fact, the guy who made it, DOES do that. He has one that’s shows the occurrence of the character of God in the Christian Bible by verse that’s pretty damn fascinating. I could totally see doing interesting stuff with Shakespeare or Chaucer.

But really…  Porn! For Science! Well, for Humanities. Whatever….

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