Demon Spawn – Artificial Wombs in Ancient India

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Last week, the German bio-propagandist Hashem Al-Ghaili shocked the world with his concept video EctoLife: The World’s First Artificial Womb Facility. The shot opens on a designer baby factory, then pans across rows of steel womb-pods. The little miracles inside are tended by AI modulators and faceless nurses in hazmat suits.

Seeing these “30,000 lab-grown babies” packed together in tiered grids, I could almost smell the fresh bleach on top of stale piss.

“With EctoLife, miscarriage and low sperm count are a thing of the past,” the chatbot narrator promises. “Prior to placing the fertilized embryo of your baby inside the growth pod, in vitro fertilization is used to create and select the most viable and genetically superior embryo, giving your baby a chance to develop without any biological hurdles.”

What sort of unfit mother could say no to that?

Besides, with global sperm counts plummeting and gay marriage rising, these eugenic EctoLife pods may be the only Future™ that humanity can hope for. That’s the sales pitch, anyway.

The ad’s dismal set is suspiciously reminiscent of the pink pod scene in the The Matrix, where Neo awakens to the reality that human beings are nothing more than bio-batteries used to power an artificial intelligence swarm.

Even more so, the rows of synthetic wombs remind me of another classic—the ancient Hindu epic, the MahabharataCompiled around 2,200 years ago from far older sources, the entire text is roughly 15 times the length of the Bible. It’s also the first myth, so far as I know, to feature a pod-baby production line.

As a whole, the Mahabharata is a brilliant latticework of stories within stories, filled with blood feuds and bad omens, hurtling toward cosmic disintegration, and laced with more metaphor and hyperbole than a womanizing Hebrew warrior hacking off two hundred Philistine foreskins to win the king’s lovely daughter.

The epic culminates in an apocalyptic war between the mostly good princes, the Pandavas, and their relatively wicked cousins, the Kauravas. As with many heroes of yore, the former were born of chaste women impregnated by the gods. The latter, being fairly demonic, were gestated in artificial wombs and born under a bad sign.

By Joe Allen

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