Monday, 4 November 2013

Junk Food, Junk-Food Sex, and then Junk Food Babies?

What do you think of the concept of artificial wombs?

From: Artificial Womb (Uterus)

Safer, Healthier, Cheaper & More Liberating - The Artificial Uterus.

Artificial Wombs, self-contained synthetic structures that replicate the best of a real woman's uterus, will surely soon be available in the mass market, as technology progresses in its relentlessly life-improving way.

The demand for such a thing is clearly, tentatively, huge. Offering a safer, healthier, more affordable and liberating way of having a child, only those most conservative, traditional, or desperately poor will choose the conventional organic method.

Scientists are already working on artificial womb projects and finding some niggling difficulties in doing so.

As for clarifying my listed benefits of such a technology, an artificial womb would present a safer option, as it would be of a mechanical design in common with life-support systems that are most probably less susceptible to failure than human bodies, including healthy mothers. Further more, these devices would be static, as opposed to climbing stairs, walking streets and driving cars.
An artificial womb would be a healthier womb. This holds for the same reasons technology is employed in the production of the vegetables and fruits we eat. Hydroponics set-ups administer carefully, optimally controlled doses of nutrient to plants roots, while allowing for maximum air flow, and minimal disturbance from soil-based pests. I do not mean to suggest an infant child and a tomato plant are one and the same, but there are in fact parallels to be drawn.

As for more affordable, please do the following maths; Pregnant women experience a significantly reduced capacity to work. Women expecting children the artificial way will have the flexibility to work for longer, if they wish. And so they will be more liberated, able to walk, fly and live more comfortably, also free of any possible concern that they might not recognise their own bodies, during and after pregnancy.


As someone who grew up with "Brave New World" as a horrific vision of a future dystopian order, the idea of growing children in test tubes brings out the inner Luddite in me. I have the same reaction when I hear people talk about having their personalities transferred to computer chips so they can live forever.

I simply do not believe that a computer chip can actually be the same experience as having a human body. Nor can I believe that humans - who manage to screw up the simplest things - are anywhere close to being able to duplicate every last tiny biological process which it takes to gestate an embryo into a fully developed human being. Each day what seems to me to be a very profound difference between existing and living, seems to grow ever wider. Modern life is as shallow as coat of paint. I think the roots of the universal psychosis we observe in the modern world stem from a loss of understanding why we do, and feel the urge to do, what we do.

For example - obesity. For most of human history there have seldom been the problems of excess calories or too little exercise required to stay alive. People were far more likely to starve to death due to lack of sufficient calories than to bloat up like so many people do today.

People feel the desire - the need, the hunger - to eat, because if they didn't the body would perish. Likewise, people feel the desire - the need, the hunger - to engage in sex because if they didn't the human race would perish.

In the past, people ate because they were hungry. If they weren't hungry, they didn't eat, or at least eat much. They did not eat as a pass time. And, they usually stopped eating when they were full - when the hunger was satisfied. But with the advent of modern junk food, the eating becomes the purpose - not the satiation of hunger.

I think much the same thing is true with sex. Before artificial birth control, pregnancy and children were as tied up with the act of sex as bowel movements are with eating. The costs of rearing children, and the burdens of spending one's life with a person, made people think about the choices a lot more, and apply the collective wisdom of the culture and their families to the decision.

If a man wanted children, he had to find a decent woman to make his wife, and then treat her decently. If a woman wanted children, and needed a man to provide for her and the kids, physically, she would assess a man on other criteria than her 'gina tingles.

Artificial birth control threw all that out of the window. Sure, women could indulge their 'gina tingles, and men could indulge their dick tingles, without paying the historic price, but in the process sex was turned into junk food, and created a culture which is characterized by either sexual obesity (Alphas) or sexual starvation (everyone else.)

There is probably no way to get the toothpaste back in the tube, but that does not mean it is time to lay the tube on an anvil and beat it with a sledgehammer to squeeze the last tiny bit out.

I don't get very concerned about artificial womb technology because, as I mentioned above, I seriously doubt that humans will ever be able to pull it off. Much of the rhetoric I hear about it is motivated by spite. I once read a post by a guy saying "men need reproductive independence from women." So... now we are going to tear the human race completely in half? Haven't feminists already done enough damage? Do men need to import napalm so they can re-scorch the well-scorched earth?

But, if it were possible, I think it would have a devastating effect on culture, beside which artificial birth control would pale. The idea of manufacturing children in factories - as the ultimate consumer commodity - is quite repugnant to me. I think this would devalue human life even further, and put children in the same category as a new car. "Hey, if I don't like it after 3 years, I can always buy another one."

Even if I could buy a test-tube baby, I would not. I think that putting up with the other parent is part of the inherent biological cost of having offspring.

Junk food, junk-food sex, and then junk-food babies?

Mmmmmm, none for me, thanks.

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