We see ourselves in the sunlight of rationality standing before the dark cave of quantum paradox, but as in Plato’s cave analogy, maybe it is the other way around. Perhaps we are sitting in the cave of physicality with our backs to the quantum sunlight, calling the shadows it casts on the wall of space real. Quantum theory and relativity have loosed the chains that bind us but who will turn and look? Einstein did, but the quantum brilliance blinded him. Bohr did but wearing his impenetrable Copenhagen suit, he saw only his own reflection. The quantum light is currently quarantined behind a wall of arcane equations and the acolytes who harvest it must first deny that it even exists. The first rule of the quantum world is that there is no quantum world, but calling its own best theory a theory of nothing is leading physics nowhere.
Quantum realism says that light is indeed a quantum wave that instantly restarts when observed, just as quantum theory says, because a processing wave can do that. Table 3.3 contrasts how quantum realism and physical realism explain the behavior of light so the reader can decide. Quantum theory today makes no more sense now than when it was invented last century and the next hundred years will be the same until it becomes a reality description. If the quantum world is a great smoky dragon (Wheeler, 1983) then the physical world is its smoke (Figure 3.27). The quantum world is no shadow world existing alongside physical reality but the real world whose shadow is the physical world we see.