MIT and Boston
David Wiley via Creative Commons

Human language is brimming with offensive words and phrases referencing life as an assumed state. The first to protest this presupposition was Jahe Houler, an Undead American from Vermont. Later, the self-aware AI lab over at MIT—identified by her designers as rAIn but preferring the name Loa—joined the crusade. The case was brought to court as Houler, Loa, et al v. The State of New Hampshire. They challenged the wording of the state constitution, in particular the bit from Article 2, “…the enjoying and defending life…”

The screaming heads on vids debated the technical definitions of life. All Houler and Loa and the others wanted was a shift to include non-life sentience in the laundry list of experiences we equate with other non-equivalents. That is, not identical, but carrying the same value. You’d think after fighting this battle dozens of times like a channel stuck broadcasting the same six reruns it would have gotten easier.

They killed Houler. The weapon was high-tech, maybe government. If he were still around, he’d hate the reporting language of “killed.” He’d say it was presumptive and offensive. It was Loa who suggested we level the playing field.