It should be pointed out that as the emperor and the inventor went through the first half of the chess board, things were fairly uneventful. The inventor was given spoonfuls of rice, then bowls of rice, then barrels. By the end of the first half of the chess board, the inventor had accumulated one large field’s worth (4 billion grains), and the emperor did start to take notice. It was as they progressed through the second half of the chessboard that the situation quickly deteriorated. Incidentally, with regard to the doublings of computation, that’s about where we stand now–there have been slightly more than 32 doublings of performance since the first programmable computers were invented during World War II.
Scholars studying assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have long recognized its power to both challenge and reinscribe norms around reproduction and the family. In-vitro fertilization and surrogacy, for example, reveal that motherhood is not an inherently unitary construct, but is instead comprised of genetic, gestational, and affective ties. Scientific breakthroughs make it likely that, not too far in the future, technicians will be able to derive eggs and sperm from induced pluripotent stem cells, allowing them to create eggs from men and sperm from women. 1 By decoupling sexual intercourse (and potentially biological sex itself) from reproduction, these past and future developments challenge foundational assumptions about the relationship between sex and the family. They have also expanded parenthood to people outside the traditional heterosexual dyad. But at the same time, ART fulfills the specific desire to create a genetic or biological parent-child relationship. It can therefore reinforce the mainstream ideologies of biogeneticism—belief in the importance, and even superiority, of biology and genetics in creating relationships and maintaining one’s identity—and repronormativity—the conceptualization of procreation as a biological imperative rather than a cultural preference. 2