I recently traveled to a parallel universe where the people wrote in a symbol-heavy language seemingly derived from English. While there, I attended various sorts of collegiate lectures to get a feel for the language; during a particular lecture, I saw this inscription written upon the board:

$$\bbox[13px,border:1px solid black]{(\vee\sqcup):\quad2\text{think}\enspace\wedge\enspace\square=\blacksquare\enspace\wedge\enspace\text{GABA}+\text{crime}}$$

What does it say? What was the lecture about?


1 Answer 1


I'm pretty sure the lecture (or at least that part of it) was about

George Orwell's novel 1984.

The inscription

refers to three key notions of the Party's thought-control in that book:
$\mathrm{2think}$: doublethink
$\square=\blacksquare$: blackwhite
$\mathrm{GABA}+\mathrm{crime}$: crimestop
(GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in our nervous systems).
These are joined together with $\wedge$ which I assume simply signifies "and" as it does in our universe's mathematical logic.

The mysterious prefix $\vee\sqcup$

is a terrible pun: $\vee$ signifies OR and $\sqcup$ is a picture of a WELL.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ That's actually a stupendous pun, IMO. Upvote to OP :) $\endgroup$
    – Brandon_J
    Apr 4, 2019 at 19:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ SPOILER ALERT: I haven’t read that novel in a long time, but wouldn’t “thoughtcrime” fit? $\endgroup$
    – jhocking
    Apr 5, 2019 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ I guess it would fit about as well as "crimestop", depending on whether you say GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter or an inhibitory neurotransmitter :-). $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Apr 5, 2019 at 18:56

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