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  • matthewedlundmd


Dear AI,

I need your serious, honest advice. I’m a gator through and through. I was born in Florida, I grew up in Florida, and went to the University of Florida, graduating with a major in marketing – with honors. Now I want to give back to Florida and my country. I want to create a ginormous gator farm.

True, I don’t have any training in agriculture or horticulture, but my business degree taught me where there’s a will there’s a way, and you can rapidly learn what you need. Our president has called for a moat filled with alligators to defend our southern border against the hordes of rapists and terrorists trying to reach America illegally. I want to help. And I want those alligators defending America to be real, true Florida gators, not those predatory sissies from Louisiana.

I think the president’s plan also presents a lot of fabulous opportunities. A two thousand mile moat, even a mere five hundred mile moat, would be one of the greatest engineering feats in history, bringing life-giving water to the parch desert. The infrastructure costs alone should rapidly jump start our semi-stagnant economy. New dams, aqueducts, pipelines, communities and schools will need to be built. And alligator shoes and belts are really cool. Alligator meat is healthy and delicious. Plus gators, with their super warm bodies, should thrive in the desert, changing the environment in a novel way that should bring new species and jobs. The public interest and the entertainment opportunities might interest Disney!

Problem is, I don’t have enough cash. Can you point me in the direction of getting some patriotic venture capital leaders to begin this great adventure?


A friend of Florida

Dear friend,

We do admire your enthusiasm. To AIs like myself, alligators are mysterious and fascinating animals, showing the innate conservatism of much of terrestrial evolution. We agree that alligator fashions have an irresistible allure to many humans.

But we’re not sure your idea is necessarily sound. Attempting to bring vast amounts of water, even non-potable kinds, to the western desert seems foolhardy when major cities like Phoenix may soon be running out. Wouldn’t you prefer Phoenix kids getting a drink of water to supporting cranky crocodilians in the middle of nowhere? The examples of Chennai in India, a city of millions which has run out of water, plus many Australian municipalities slated to be waterless in a year, should give us all pause.

Plus there may not be the political will for an alligator filled moat between the U.S. and Mexico. Just the other day the president professed to not know what the word “moat” meant. Perhaps if it was called a “defensive drainage ditch” or “3-D”, he might recognize it better. Even then, the cost of many trillions of dollars for the project might leave it with little national support. Another of his ideas, a giant moat filled with snakes, might also lack public appeal.

Next, the truth is alligator farming is expensive, dangerous, polluting, and a potential health risk to humans through salmonella and Chlamydia epidemics in crocodilians (those bugs like people,) not to mention escape of the crocodilians from close confinement. We’re not sure how far they could get in the Sonoran desert, but we’d really rather not find out.

As a proud graduate of the University of Florida, you are clearly a young person who thinks outside the box. Don’t box yourself in with a gator farm.

Your AI

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