This post takes a look at the cultural history of spooky action at a distance, framed as a lifestyle story. This is first discussion spooky action in its rather odd historical context.
This is a ghost story.
In 2016, National Geographic presented a documentary, Quantum Universe and Entanglement Science [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sewSeGO4u1] It introduced a waiting public to secrets that may hold the key to a fabulous interdimensional (ID) lifestyle filled with loads of steamy entanglement and quantums of excitement.
Awakening to a reality so recently occupied by both ghost stories and science fiction is guaranteed to stoke interest, not just in quantum effects, but also in the enticing prospect of interacting with new pandimensional friends. As an official institute to search for Extradimensional Intelligence (SEDI) has yet to be formed, amateurs must take up the quest for the interdimensional life and lifestyle. If nothing else, discussion of this new mode de vie highlights what a bit of new physics can do to ordinarily sensible people. This quest is almost exactly half serious.
In it, astrophysicist Jacques Valée, PhD, (right ) is the first notable figure. He is notable because Steven Spielberg used him as the model for Claude Lacombe, the French UFO-ologist in Spielberg’s 1977 Close Encounters of a Third Kind. Dr. Valée is also notable for his interdimensional hypothesis.  It’s message: they’re heeeere, and by implication, so is an exciting new way of living.
Before Valée, it was up to gothic novelists to frame the travails of interdimensional beings. Now, troubled, but well-meaning, superheros seem at home in any dimension, from 3D on up. Where a conflicted Captain Kirk so often seemed stuck between dimensions, Harry Potter’s Hogwarts sported its own ID train platform, back ally and high school. And, an attractively entangled Obi Wan instantly knew when bad things happened on planets far, far away.
Douglas Adams revealed the sordid underbelly of ID relations in his 1987 Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.  For Adams, getting from our mundane 3D world to a higher plane was a matter of attitude and a slight twist of the head. On their side, a party-crazed Valhalla. On our side, an inexplicable trail of corpses and a paradoxical sofa that, by the laws of physics, could never have been moved up stairs to where it was found in a second floor apartment. Adams pandered to an unfavorable ID stereotype that persisted for centuries, but thankfully seems to be fading.
Today’s Extradimensional Space Agency (EDSA) offers needed information, at www.extradimensional.org, and describes itself as “[a]n agency created to facilitate and aid the reconnection and integration of Earth Humanity with their Galactic Family of Light.” Amen and QED to that!
Dr. Valée’s passion to improve our understanding and appreciation of interdimensional visitors and their way of life led to his 1969 book, Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, And Parallel Worlds. It was a work that relied on and celebrated the efforts of earlier investigators. After briefly reviewing Sanskrit accounts of “perfected men”, Valée pointed to Ninth Century “observations of beings who flew across the sky” by Agobard, Archbishop of Lyons (below left, note bishop, ship, crops, anguish). Agobard, Valée tells us, was “one of the most celebrated and learned prelates of the ninth century.”
His De Grandine et Tonitruis (On Hail and Thunder, 815 AD) described the plight of several beings held in custody who came from a certain region,
which they call Magonia, whence ships sail in the clouds, in order to carry back to that region those fruits . . . destroyed by hail and tempests; the sailors paying rewards to the storm wizards and themselves receiving corn and other produce.
Dr. Valée went on to recount examples of interdimensional visits concealed in Icelandic, Indian, Scottish and Roman folktales. “Plutarch,” he tells us, “even had a complete theory if the nature of these beings,” an intermediate kind of life between the immortal and mortal. Fifteenth Century scholar, Paracelsus wrote about these beings, but “took great pains to warn the reader of the dangers of associating with them.” ” Valée offered Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s account of sighting in 1768 of “luminous creatures” in a “sort of a amphitheater, wonderfully illuminated.” Valée also included the usual Twentieth Century saucers, abductions and assorted close encounters. He concluded:
What we have here is a complete theory of contact between our race and another race, non-human, different in physical nature, but biologically compatible with us. Angels, demons, fairies, creatures from heaven, hell, or Magonia: they inspire our strangest dreams, shape our destinies, steal our desires…… But who are they?
Even if the precise identity of our ID neighbors remains a mystery, we know one thing. They are spooky. To dial in spookiness, we must turn to the physicists.
Albert Einstein is a second notable figure. He made spookiness chic. In 1935, Einstein and two colleagues imagined a set of entangled particles. Entanglement happens when particles are created at the same time. They end up as identical twins. These particles should, Einstein thought, remain connected, even when separated by great distance. An action on one twin should instantly affect the other, a violation of both the cosmic speed limit and normal cause and effect. Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance.” He understood that the route for getting information instantaneously from one entangled particle to another had to lie outside of ordinary space and time. Einstein’s spooky action called into question essential elements of the physics of the time, and may, eventually, spell the end of our satisfaction with the 3D way life.
Spooky action was a tough sell for respectable physicists, including Einstein. They initially dropped it in favor of topics that were in demand. During World War II and the Cold War, the jobs were in in defense and space, not speculation. “Shut up and calculate” was the rule of the day. In addition, spooky action was more than strange. When the market for physicists collapsed the 1970s, a group of out-of-work physicists became notable when they joined forces to make spookiness hip. Their Fundamental Fysiks Group, based at Big Sur’s Esalen Institute and funded by EST founder Werner Erhard, began work in earnest on spooky action.  Interest spiked and real funding arrived as physicists and investors realized that quantum computing might be possible. At this point, Bob and Alice (abvove right), a pair of star-crossed quantum protagonists, were created.
Alice and Bob illustrate the spooky life and lifestyle. They stand in for twin particles, A and B, doomed to separation and spooky entanglement. This is their story, retold in the Bayeaux Tapestry of spookiness, the panels of NASA’s “Spooky Action at a Distance” (below). Don’t worry about the details. Physicists don’t understand it, either.
Since polarization is random, Bob and Alice should get different results, but they don’t. According to one researcher, “’It’s as if Alice and Bob try to tear the two photons apart, but their love still persists’ . . . In other words, the entangled photons behave as if they are two parts of a single system, even when separated in space.”  The unanswered question: what route, exactly, does the information take as it travels instantly from Alice to Bob? A heavenly shortcut through Valhalla? A side trip to Hogwart’s Platform 8 ½ ?
Quantum entanglement is becoming everyday stuff, even if it still seems like science fiction. As recently as 2017, The Atlantic magazine announced as much when it reported a Viennese experiment that finally and resolutely confirmed “the Universe is as spooky as Einstein thought.”  As usual with physics, it takes a while to get out this week’s version of reality. In this case, the idea of the universe as a giant machine is winding down. A spooky universe stands in the offing.
This is not your ninth grade physics. Worse, it’s served up with a dollop of seemingly unrelated subjects. Fortunately, “Shut up and calculate” (left), the unspoken rule that muzzled several generations of physicists, is, of necessity, weakening. Entanglement and extra dimensions are weird and fun. This fact gives physicists a reason to try to explain what they imagine the weirdness means. Cartoons, like the ones included here, give some idea of the new culture. Funny is good. Simple is good. Physics is returning to what it was before 1940, a branch of philosophy, rather than the handmaiden of technology.
Entanglement isn’t just for couples (above left). It’s also the engine of quantum computing.  Quantum computing promises to make spookiness profitable. Spookiness has gone industrial. In 2016, tech booster Forbes Magazine, revealed a ravenous desire for the day when “quantum systems [will] allow us to swallow complexity whole, rather than using shortcuts that reduce efficiency.”  The spooky bit is that quantum computers go to work somewhere outside of our universe. The grubby hand of capitalism has reached into the Beyond.
Let’s suppose our Alice and Bob want to move on up in to higher dimensional neighborhood. It would help if they were given some idea of life from a 4D point of view. Fortunately, artist Pablo Picasso’s patrons wanted that too, and he gave it to them. Picasso is another notable figure, mainly because he shows how long people have been trying to get a handle on spookiness. Modern artists often based their art on the latest physics. Impressionists experimented with the optics of vision by paining with dots. Cubists played with dimension. Playwright Arthur Miller wrote:
Picasso was particularly struck by [mathematician Enri] Poincare’s advice on how to view the fourth dimension, which artists considered another spatial dimension. If you could transport yourself into it, you would see every perspective of a scene at once. But how to project these perspectives on to canvas?
Picasso knew. Bob and Alice have so much to look forward to! Look at what’s in store.
There’s time at home [A], a day at the factory [B],
then a café supper [C] and an evening at the club [D].
[Top left [A]: Picasso’s The Red Armchair, Top left [B] Brick Factory, Bottom right [C] Table in a Cafe and bottom left [D] Musicians in Masks ]
How did Picasso know? Easy. He must already have been enjoying the vida nonlocal.
Parked in the carport of Alice’s and Bob’s new home, you would expect to see a Picasso-styled car. For design ideas, look no further than that interdimensional pioneer, Ezekiel. As illustrations show, Ezekiel’s Wheels® sport the typical pan-dimensional look, including an omni-directional suspension, four hoods and drive trains, and wheels within wheels. What else would do for an interdimensional roadster?
Once Alice and Bob settle in, they may be worried about life with their multi-faceted neighbors. ExoTheologists have already gamed it out for them. Exotheology is the study of the impact of the possibility of other worlds on earthly faith. Lutheran astrotheologist, Ted Peters tells the faithful not to worry – other worlds were old hat by the time of the first century Church Fathers. They were fine with it. We should be too. Vatican exotheologian Corrado Balducci wondered in 2001 how to welcome the new neighbors in his “UFOs and Extraterrestrials: A Problem for the Church?” Apparently, they are not, historical views to the contrary aside.
If Alice or Bob have any remaining questions, ExoPoliticians, who deal off-world policy, at Exopolitics.org. Extending a welcoming hand to a higher dimension is today’s right thing to do. Even in the 1940s, exotheological and exopolitical good will was evident in Oxford Professor C.S. Lewis’ still-popular Narnia series, despite story lines featuring warring supernatural camps leaving swaths of devastation. Devastation may not, actually, be that uncommon when higher beings or fiction writers are involved.
Concerned about the interdimensional CEO? In 2010, Dr. Richard Terrell, Director of the Center of Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory joined host Morgan Freeman on the Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole to discuss what no thoughtful programmer would previously have thought to ask,
Who or what is the creator? 
For Terrell the answer was as clear as code.
One has to think what are the requirements for God? God is an inter-dimensional being connected with everything in the Universe, a creator that is responsible for the Universe and in some way can change the laws of physics, if he wanted to. I think those are good requirements for what God ought to be.
Terrell’s God is (What else?) the Master Programmer. He argues:
Look at the way the Universe behaves, it’s quantized, it’s made of pixels. Space is quantitized, matter is quantitized, energy is quantitized, everything is made of individual pixels. Which means the Universe has a finite number of components. Which means a finite number of states. . . . That infers the Universe could be created by lines of code in a computer.
Problem solved. So ends our quest.
Given the strides being made, the pandimensional lifestyle is on its way. Spookiness has risen from its lowly gothic origins to become chic, then hip and now profitable. What’s next? Actual and aspiring interdimensionals should rest easy. Alice and Bob can take comfort that God has given up the unsatisfying galactic watchmaker assignment (right) and is now comfortably at his Workstation. Welcome to the Twenty-first Century. God’s in his Dimension. All’s spooky with the World.
Note: Don’t forget your entanglement and spooky action
T-shirts, hoodies and music now available
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1. See Goertzel, Ben, “Might There Be Intelligences in Other ‘Dimensions’?” Institute for ‘Ethics and Emerging Technologies, July 10, 2010, https://ieet.org/index.php/ieet/more/goertzel20100712 2. http://smokejedi.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/interdimensional-theory-jacques-vallee.jpg 3.
2. Adams, Douglas, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agecny,
4. Valee, Jacques, Passport to Magnonia, Contemporary Books, New York, 1993, page 10. 5.
5. Kaiser, David, How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 2012; Musser, George, Spooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time–and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything, Scientific American, New York, 2015
6. —, “Particles in Love: Quantum Mechanics Explored in New Study, NASA, February 12, 2016, https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/particles-in-love-quantum-mechanics-explored-in-new-study
7. –, “Einstein’s “Spooky Action at a Distance” Paradox Older Than Thought: Einstein’s famous critique of quantum mechanics first emerged in 1930, five years earlier than thought, according to a new analysis of his work,” MIT Technology Review, March 8, 2012; Wolchover, Natalie, “The Universe Is as Spooky as Einstein Thought: In a brilliant new experiment, physicists have confirmed one of the most mysterious laws of the cosmos,” The Atlantic, February 10, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/02/spooky-action-at-a-distance/516201/; “Quantum computing advances with control of entanglement,” Physics.Org, September 27, 2016, https://phys.org/news/2016-09-quantum-advances-entanglement.html 8.
8. Qubit defined: A qubit is a two-state quantum-mechanical system, such as the polarization of a single photon: here the two states are vertical polarization and horizontal polarization. In a classical system, a bit would have to be in one state or the other. However, quantum mechanics allows the qubit to be in a superposition of both states at the same time, a property that is fundamental to quantum computing.
9. Statell, Greg, “Here’s How Quantum Computing Will Change The World,” October 16, 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/2016/10/02/heres-how-quantum-computing-will-change-the-world/#173a21acad6d
10. –, “Picasso, Einstein and the fourth dimension: How one French philosopher contributed to two 20th century breakthroughs,” Phaidon, July 19, 2012, http://www.phaidon.com/agenda/art/articles/2012/july/19/picasso-einstein-and-the-fourth-dimension/\
11. –, “Our Creator Is A Cosmic Computer Programmer – Says JPL Scientist,” Message to Eagle, September 12 2012, http://www.messagetoeagle.com/our-creator-is-a-cosmic-computer-programmer-says-jpl-scientist/