The Awful Algebra of ACTIVATE
UK politics plumbed new depths with the launch of “ACTIVATE”, the Tory attempt to counter Labour’s Momentum, and what the hell is with that square root in their title? It’s the most irrational square root I’ve ever seen and that is almost infinitely saying something.
The only square root of “ATE” is “TOO PINT ATE TOO ATE”. But I don’t think they’re smart enough to encode counter-Al-Murray parodies. I don’t think they’re smart enough to know they’ve even used math. This incomprehensible algebra sums up the Conservative’s attitude to all words and numbers: cave wall squiggles to scare proles them into voting one more time before being sold to private US organ banks.
There’s no way to parse the square root of ATE. B, c, d, e, t, almost every other letter has an agreed value allowing some amusing physics result, but the Conservative’s almost instinctive aversion to real numbers means they’ve chosen an equation without possible meaning. (I won’t loan even a zero to give them a0, the Bohr radius, because give the Tories nothing in your life and they’ll still take your entire country’s future. Apparently.)
It gets even worse in the large logo. The square root links across into the sideways T* of the sonus medius, a Claudian letter invented around 50 AD by an Emperor to render a sound which doesn’t really exist in any language spoken by anyone in England. Which is just the absolute perfect lexicon for modern Tory policy. But still only accidentally.
*Unicode character 2C75 if you’re interested
I’ve put more thought into this than they did and it’s their campaign and I hate them even more than before which should thought impossible. The more I look at that equation — unable to tear my eyes away like a Lovecraftian arithmetic teacher — the more feel it’s a cargo cult copying error, like one of them once saw a squiggle that shape in a smart context and decided it looked rather dashing. But they screwed up even the suggestion of the V because no-one involved in the whole project could work a graphics program enough to lengthen the square-root symbol. They’re not even “ACTIVATE”, they’re “ACTI ATE”.
Everything about UK Conservatives is opposite to what you’d need to run a campaign like this. The first post in their “Youth energizing” campaign is an Admiral Ackbar meme, indicating a Tory who once tried listening to their child in the early 2000s and is only now deciding to try pretending they listened. They obviously have no graphic designers. They don’t even have someone who’s completed fist year math. It’s all student politics presidents and politics degrees.
Math can’t make sense of this algebra, but it can still help us solve the problem. Impossible equations often result from an incorrect axiom, starting by assuming something’s true when it clearly isn’t, and ACTIVATE is aimed at Young Conservatives. But there’s no such thing as Young Conservatives. Maybe a few larvae so tragically shielded from reality that they’ve managed to grasp the controls of teenage bodies without ever actually meeting anyone of whom mater wouldn’t approve, but that’s all. The phrase “Young Conservatives” should disappear in a blast of high energy gamma rays, which would honestly be less damaging to everyone around them in the long term.