Uncertain Times Call for Uncertain Measures

The Ford logo is shown over 0s and 1s for Ford Certified Pre-owned cars.

In these uncertain times, there’s a fair amount of comfort to be found in the familiar and logical, which often leaves the new and bizarre confronted with a wall of incredulous anger. It is into this whirling cataract of confusion that Ford has announced what I would argue is likely to be the most important and innovative vehicle of the decade, perhaps even of the century: the Ford Heisenberg. There’s no set schedule for release yet on this marvel, so don’t expect to see a new, used, or Ford Certified Pre-Owned Heisenberg any time soon, but that shouldn’t diminish your excitement.

In these uncertain times, the Ford Heisenberg takes uncertainty a step further with a brand-new, truly incomparable drivetrain that they have named the “Quantum Engine.” While I don’t understand all the details and mechanisms of this miraculous new engine, the more I learn, the less I like about the universe and my place in it. I had a chance to sit down with one of the Ford engineers responsible for the all-new Heisenberg and ask her some questions about their design intent with this vehicle and how it all came together. The insight she provided was startling, moving, and oftentimes accompanied by a guitar solo – power chords only.

Birth of an Idea

In these uncertain times, it’s hard to imagine any company going out of its way to fund any project with unpredictable results in an unproven market. And yet, Ford did exactly that by giving the team working on their experimental new vehicle the go-ahead. According to my source within the design team, this was largely due to the visionary leadership of Ford Motor Company’s CEO, Ford Fordson. (My loyal readers will remember my recent interview with Mr. Fordson, who remains a powerful and majestic figure of stately virility within the otherwise stagnant auto industry).

In these uncertain times, Mr. Fordson told his engineers that Ford needed something new, something to set them apart from their competition. My source within Ford states that the team she’s a part of responded to this the only way they knew how: heavy drinking. After a night of Maker’s Mark and taquitos, the team awoke the next morning to find details on the development of their new vehicle scribbled on the whiteboard in their offices. None of them remember writing or drawing what they found, and all records of it have since been sealed away by government officials that arrived in the following weeks.

A complex formula is shown on a whiteboard.
Image of quantum physics calculations provided by Google. Yeah. We don’t understand them either. Pffft. Friggin’ nerds…am I right?

The Quantum Engine

In these uncertain times, what the Ford engineers had created in their drunken stupor turned out to be what they have dubbed the “Quantum Engine.” It’s an entirely new sort of drivetrain beyond anything I’ve ever seen before, and it looks ready to revolutionize everything we’ve ever thought we knew about automotive design and engineering. I asked my source for more information about the Quantum Engine, and her reply shook me to my core.

“In these uncertain times,” she said, “we looked to uncertainty for inspiration, which led us, of course, to the incomparable work of German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg. With every drink that night, we talked more about his work, and that resulted in a serious, spiraling discussion of the Uncertainty Principle within quantum mechanics. After a few hours of conversation, argument, and gesticulation, one thing was clear: none of us really understood quantum mechanics, and most of us really like Scott Bakula.

A picture of Werner Heisenberg and a picture of Scott Bakula.
Above: one of these men was a brilliant pioneer of quantum theory. The other was a 1980’s television star. You pick. We’ll wait.

“In these uncertain times, we found comfort in this shared adoration of the great actor (one of my co-workers jumped onto a table, declared himself ‘Count Bakula’ and began trying to bite the other engineers while yelling about ‘Ziggy’ and screaming ‘I vant to leap home!’). I remember someone talking about extending the Uncertainty Principle beyond the scope of quantum mechanics and into our reality, what he called ‘meat world.’ The next morning we woke up, and the plans were on the whiteboards… and the walls, and the floors, and the ceiling… one part of the engine was sketched-out on the right buttock of ‘Count Bakula.’ Truly stunning.”

In these uncertain times, one can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if those brave engineers had discussed the work of Scott Baio instead. But fortunately for all of us, no one talks about Scott Baio. The result of that night of heavy drinking and scientific jocularity was the Quantum Engine, a drivetrain that allows objects well beyond the subatomic scope to utilize the rules and concepts of quantum mechanics.

In these uncertain times, what the Quantum Engine does, first and foremost, is allow the Uncertainty Principle to affect the all-new Ford Heisenberg. As such, when looking at the new Ford vehicle, you can determine its position or its velocity – but you cannot measure both at the same time with any degree of accuracy. According to my source within Ford, driving the Heisenberg is, “kind of like eating a banana backward while sitting inside of a camel that dreamt it could be a zeppelin, all while trying to remember your home phone number from when you were a kid.”

Practical Functionality and Style

In these uncertain times, one cannot help but wonder, what’s the use of the Quantum Engine and the all-new Ford Heisenberg? Well, for one thing, you’ll never get another speeding ticket. The beauty of the application of the Uncertainty Principle is that a nosy highway patrol officer can’t determine both your speed and your current position. So if he knows that you’re driving too fast, he won’t be able to tell where you are located, and if he can find where you’re located, he won’t be able to measure how fast you’re going.

In these uncertain times, it’s worth noting that the Quantum Engine also applies the Observer Effect to the Ford Heisenberg, so anyone observing the vehicle has a pronounced and noticeable effect on it. My source within Ford gave me one example: she walked into work one morning, looked at the new vehicle they were developing, and her observation of it caused the all-new Ford to burst into flames. When I asked her how this made any sense, and that the Observer Effect should only impact its position or speed, she commented that I should, “mind my own damn business.”

Beyond the Ford Heisenberg

In these uncertain times, I’ve been reassured by my contact within Ford that the all-new Heisenberg is just the beginning and that they’ve only begun to tap into the Quantum Engine’s potential. She told me, “We’re working hard on an application that will allow a vehicle to utilize quantum tunneling to travel from one point to another without the need for potential energy. One experiment showed a lot of progress, and as soon as we can get the engineer that took the first test drive to stop screaming and trying to eat his own hair, we’re looking forward to some great results.”

Editor’s Note: In these uncertain times, it’s good to know that writers like our own Mr. Von Gourdboddum are still hard at work, getting to the truth of our observable reality and relaying the meaning of the meaningless to us all. We want to thank everyone working in essential fields for everything they do each day and recommend that the world remember what was truly “essential” when the dust settles, and normalcy resumes. Thank you for helping us all to survive these uncertain times.


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