Dear Tyler (writes Woody Desmond of No Particular Place):
I saw from your FB that you have become a Quantum Mechanic. Is much training needed for this? I’m interested in a career change esp. if there’s money in it.
The field of Quantum Mechanics is new, and pretty wide open at the moment. All you really need are a few tools, arrogance, and a certain amount of confusing jargon.
To begin, the right tools are essential. Refer to the diagram below.
- No-one can be considered a proper Quantum Mechanic without a quantum spanner. “Spanner” is just British for “wrench,” but which one sounds classier, eh? Pictured here is a class 6 device. Most people’s idea of a q.s. is the class 8, as seen on TV, but the class 6 is more useful all around. You might want to keep a class 8 in the truck, in case you’re ever called on to work on a flux inversion system, but folks who use those tend to own their own tools. If your time machine breaks down, it’s a real drag to have to wait for the telephone to be invented so you can call for a tow. And have a class 3, of course, in case of reality striation, but I’ve never needed mine.
- Spin detection goggles. Possible spin values are 1, 0, -1, 1/2 and 1/3.
- Red-blue glasses to detect incipient trans-universe portals and other dimensional instabilities.
- The Particle Identification Handbook published by the International Association of Quantum Mechanical Engineers. I prefer the nth edition.
- Hilbert space manipulator.
- 16 oz. rubber mallet. Of course you could just whack recalcitrant machinery with your hand, but remember that the idea is to project authority. A mallet is much more official.
- Dosimeter. Quantum Mechanics should track their exposure to radiation and temporal distortion, and should maintain a medium to high level of caffeination.
The jargon doesn’t have to be too precise so long as it’s spoken with confidence. If other people don’t understand it, well, they don’t expect to, so that’s just as well. Remember, it’s unlikely that anyone in the vicinity will be in a position to contradict your assertion that someone’s quarks are misaligned or their strangeness is out of balance. This is the same effect that lawyers, plumbers and psychics rely on. Use the words quanta, quark, neutrino, field, fractal, dimension, unstable, intermittent, temporal, polarity, spin, charm, invert, reverse, align, extend… in appropriate combinations, the more the merrier.
If anyone does presume to contradict you, the following responses may be useful:
- “Well, sure, if you ignore the uncertainty principle.”
- “Back off, man, I’m a scientist!”
- (Contemptuously) “Amateur.”
- “I see you haven’t kept up with the latest papers coming out of Russia.”
- “Well, yes, that’s the establishment view.”
- “I don’t have time to go into the mathematics just now.”
Remember, it doesn’t matter if one person knows you’re full of shit. It’s their word against yours, and the person whose opinion matters is the one who pays you. You are never uncertain. You are never wrong. Go get ’em!