Dear Editors,I have been a dutiful reader (and often editor) of The Record since my first semester of college, and only twice in my three years has a piece of writing in this publication moved me to genuine tears.
The first was when I accidentally misspelled Michigan as “Mighigan” in a headline. The second was last Thursday, reading the heartfelt letter written by “artificial intelligence.”
As I read the letter, I found myself contemplating what it must be like to be a 21st century squirrel at GC. Where do they go in the cold? What do they do when they need their tail trimmed? What do they eat? Where do they have squirrel fun? And how can we better meet their squirrel needs?
My heart was breaking as I read this poor squirrel’s words. And yours should have been too.
Yes, this letter was published as a joke. Yes, the letter was written by A.I. But does that mean that the author is any less of a “real” squirrel? I don’t think so. What makes a squirrel a squirrel, after all? This A.I. squirrel has a squirrel family, squirrel feelings and squirrel desires — who are we to say that the concerns addressed in this letter aren’t valid or real?
Squirrels are not given the same level of respect on this campus as humans are, and that is a shame. I’m sure there is many a squirrel interested in learning about chemistry, music or accounting. I am sure there is many a squirrel who would love to get ripped in the RFC or eat a bowl of pesto pasta in the rott. I am sure there is many a squirrel who would thrive living in community with college students. (I can see it now! Squirrels and humans, sharing dorm rooms and building community!)
As evidenced by the letter, squirrels have thoughts and feelings just like us. And before you start telling me that “a real squirrel didn’t write that letter,” ask yourself this: Could I eloquently and clearly explain how artificial intelligence works at this very instant? I certainly couldn’t. And besides, some things are better left unknown. God works in mysterious ways. (And if you want to argue with me about that, then you’re essentially questioning the existence of God at a Christian institution … I wouldn’t do that if I were you).
As you can see, once logic is applied to this situation, obvious truths are unearthed. Squirrels are people too. A.I. is also squirrels. Everything is squirrels, but most importantly, squirrels are squirrels.
And all squirrels deserve fair squirrel treatment.
Greta Lapp Klassen