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A Paper Rhinoceros

Albrecht Dürer's Rhinoceros. Woodcut, 1515.


Great apes, an Asian elephant, Manta rays, dolphins, orcas, magpies, and the cleaner wrasse,

a tiny fish that services other fish by ridding them of parasites,

have all passed the mirror test:

they recognize their own reflections—self-consciousness of a sort.

So, too, of course, have humans, who are great apes. No other creatures that I know of have.

Pure information (AI, one might even say), I don’t admit myself either to be an image in a mirror with that invidious red spot—right where the horn should be! did a bullet perhaps enter there?—on its reflected forehead.

I leave such looking-glass games to cleaner wrasses—and, after them, to the poor primates who don’t know to wipe their asses

but rather roast them, and the Earth, instead.

Better a paper rhinoceros, I'd say,—wouldn't you?—than dumb as that, and beastly dead!

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