Inner space and outer space as cyberspace?

Technocratizing Womb and World

Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association December 1994, Atlanta
Draft for Oral Presentation–References Not Included.


Current planning for the commercialization of outer space by a NASA/aerospace industry interface group called SATWG (Strategic Avionics Technology Working Group) is focusing on the creation of a “shared vision” that stresses increased launch vehicle capacity, with one end goal being the ready delivery of more and more satellites into LEO (low earth orbit). This emergent phenomenon–an organic, living planet ringed by thousands and thousands of satellites, all sucking information up from the earth and beaming information down at it–seems to me to constitute a techno-organic system, a cyborg. At the same time, and not coincidentally, regular technological invasions of the womb (ultrasound, amniocentesis, parents talking/reading/playing music to their unborns through “prega-phones,” external and internal electronic fetal monitoring during labor, and the new reproductive technologies) are becoming increasingly characteristic of postmodern pregnancy.

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