Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Ten Years Old
Quantum Tantra Blog is now 10 years old. Happy Birthday, old friend!

During its life QTB has published 495 posts which have received more than 500,000 views. The blog is mainly a kind of diary of the major concerns and accomplishments of Nick Herbert and his alter ego Doctor Jabir 'abd al-Khaliq.

Nick's primary goal is to father a brand new physics (Quantum Tantra) which will connect us all with Nature in a more direct and intimate way. This quest has generated dozens of pages of quirky quantum tantric poetry but no concrete physical results as yet. But I continue to pursue this "impossible dream".

The quest begins with quantum mechanics, the most successful theory of the physical world ever devised, which comes at the price of physicists not knowing what this theory actually means: the "quantum reality problem" -- about which I wrote my first book Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics.

One of the important milestones in quantum reality research is Bell's Theorem in which Irish physicist John Stewart Bell proved that although the quantum facts are everywhere "local", the quantum reality underlying these fact must be "non-local". The term "non-local" essentially means "faster-than-light", which Albert Einstein declared verboten in physics.

John Stewart Bell: Reality is Non-local

But, in a truly peculiar twist of logic, Bell's faster-than-light proof applies only to REALITY not to the FACTS. Einstein's prohibition still holds for the world we can see; only the invisible reality behind these facts must be faster-than-light.

Bell's Theorem has led to many clever attempts to move FTL REALITY into FTL FACT. One of my hobbies is superluminal signaling schemes, many of which are described in my book Faster-Than-Light: Superluminal Loophole in Physics and in quite a few of my QTB blog posts.

In fact, exactly ten years ago, as I was just beginning this blog, I had just published, in the physics arXiv, a FTL communication scheme called ETCALLHOME which was refuted within 24 hours by Israeli physicist Lev Vaidman.

Demetrios Kalamidas: inventor of KISS

The most exciting FTL scheme reported in QTB was the KISS proposal of Demetrios Kalamidas which uses a kind of "fake news" effect to exploit quantum path entanglement to send superluminal signals. Six prominent physicists, including one of Kalamidas's former optics professors, were involved in KISS's eventual refutation.

KISS: A New Superluminal Commication Scheme
Demetrios: the Opera
The Kalamidas Experiment
FTL Signaling Made Easy
Kalamidas Refuted
The Kalamidas Experiment: Easy Pickings

The refutation by Wootters and Zurek of one of my own FTL schemes, called FLASH, led directly to the quantum no-cloning rule, a result important in the field of quantum computing since it proves that, unlike classical information, such as a jpg of your cat, which can be exactly copied, perfect cloning of quantum information violates the laws of Nature. The story of the discovery of the no-cloning rule is the centerpiece of David Kaiser's recent book How the Hippies Saved Physics which also recounts the adventures of some of my disreputable physics friends.

David Kaiser and some hippies who "saved physics"

Kaiser describes the Esalen Seminars on the Nature of Reality, hosted by myself and eccentric mathematician Saul-Paul Sirag, where for eight years prominent physicists were invited to discuss Bell's Theorem along the Big Sur cliffs and in the Esalen sulfur baths. Through the good graces of Fed Ex philanthropist Charles Brandon we were able to award, in Esalen's Big House, the Reality Prize to John Bell (theory) and John Clauser (experiment) for their decisive demonstration of quantum reality's necessary non-locality, possibly the first time these guys's important achievements were publicly recognized.

Esalen Reality Prize Day. Left to Right: Charles Brandon, Nick Herbert, Adriana Chernovska, John Clauser, Saul-Paul Sirag, Bernard D'Espagnat (John Bell's proxy), Henry Stapp. Nick's son Khola in front holding wine glass

Also in QTB, I describe my collaboration with Saul-Paul Sirag in elucidating the nature of the Sirag Numbers, a sequence of integers indirectly related to the quantum theory of angular momentum. Later, I give a brief biography of Saul-Paul (who was born in a concentration camp) as preface to a review of his new math book ADEX Theory: How the ADE Coxeter Graphs Unify Mathematics and Physics.

Saul-Paul Sirag, eccentric mathematician

In 2014, the city of Belfast celebrated the 50th anniversary of Bell's Theorem by naming a street in its Titanic district after his theorem and by hosting a museum exhibit of works of art inspired by Belfast-born John Bell. My song Bell's Theorem Blues was chosen as one of the exhibits and was performed by local (Boulder Creek) vocalist Joy Rush, pianist Jack Bowers with George Galt on harmonica. The festival could not afford to pay our fares to Ireland but you can listen to the recording we sent and read the lyrics here.

BC Blues Trio: George Galt, Jack Bowers, Joy Rush

In this blog I also recall my two meetings with John Stewart Bell at the home of Stanford physics professor Pierre Noyes.

In the spirit of our old quantum physics seminars, Esalen has been hosting invitational meetings on the more general topic of human Superpowers, initiated by one of its founders Michael Murphy and expanded by extraordinary religious scholar Jeffrey Kripal. Most of these superpowers are considered IMPOSSIBLE so they thought it might be fun to have a few physicists on board. I was invited to two of these seminars including one devoted to the extraordinary levitations of St Joseph of Copertino, chronicled in the recent book by Michael Grosso The Man Who Could Fly. This seminar inspired my own levitation project, a subset of my quantum tantra urge to learn to relate to Nature in radical new ways.

Jeff Kripal & Nick Herbert: Old Esalen Lodge

As part of my project to relate to Nature in brand new ways, I invented the Metaphase Typewriter, a quantum-random putative mechanical spirit medium. In common with all of Nick's efforts so far, this project seemed to utterly fail. But recently the Metaphase Typewriter was revived as an art project by Lynden Stone in Queensland, Australia and by Dmitry Morosov in Moscow.

Lynden Stone's Erwin's Puss
While Nick was waiting for the Messiah to come (a play on the name of the wonderful picture book about Esalen by Bernie Gunther : What to Do Till the Messiah Comes), he fell in with a bunch of rowdy Irish musicians in Santa Cruz, learned to play the Irish whistle, and became part of a band called Blarney which plays at private parties and (a few times) on stage. My biggest achievement as member of the wonderful Blarney band was the composition of a patter song, 32 Irish County Jig, that recites each of Ireland's 32 counties. I am really surprised that no one else had ever done this before.
Blarney Band: Matt Johnson, August O'Connor, Kim Fulton-Bennett, Nick Herbert

Then there is my poetry ("the kiss of death" according to my literary agent John Brockman). In Boulder Creek, for a dozen or so years, there arose a remarkably fertile poetry movement, which I call the Bistroscene after Conrad Santos's Boulder Creek Bistro where a majority of the action took place and where I premiered my quantum tantric poems and many others. Many of these performances were videoed by Alan and Sun Lundell (aka Dr and Mrs Future) and are still being rediscovered as Al and Sun transfer their ancient video formats to archival hard drive.

Kiss My Bare Art
The New Sex Robot
He Did Not Die
Harlot Nature
2000-year-old Pickup Line
The Aphrodite Award
Los Gatos Apple Store

Celebrating the Irises
Mayday Play

Regarding weird literary output, it would be impossible to ignore my friend Rudy Rucker, the Lawrence Ferlinghetti of cyberspace. Rudy conceived and published Flurb, an online magazine of radically trippy inventions, including some of my own stuff and the most imaginative alien psychedelic I have even encountered -- James Worrad's Eye-High.

Since quantum tantra (the search for new doorways into Nature) is still in its embryonic stage, there is very little concrete accomplishments to which I can point. Here however are a few teasers:

Abu Asks About Quantum Tantra
No More Safe Science
Opening Night
Happy Doomsday
Greatest Pleasure
Elements of Tantra

Urge: A Short Opera about Reality
Tantric Jihad: the Video
Quantum Tantra Stripped Bare

In this short post, I cannot cover completely all ten years of my blog: I have decided to exclude the numerous book reviews and friends' obituaries (except for my two younger brothers Tom and Duke and my cat Onyx). Please click the tags for topics and people that interest you. My apologies to everyone I have left out. Although concrete quantum tantric research seems at an absolute standstill, I can at least briefly brag about six minor accomplishments:

Nick Herbert aka Dr. Jabir
I self-published two books of verse: Physics on All Fours and Harlot Nature;
I invented 99 new chakras: 99 Nick Chakras;
I invented a new (Ukrainian) holiday: YIDD;
I invented a new (imaginary) element: Khaliqium;
I invented a new (psychic) currency: Khlit Coin;
I devised a new proof that classical and quantum ESP powers must be precisely equal: Nick's Proof.

The quantum tantra posts with the most views ares:
1. Schrödinger's Proof for the Existence of God
2: Does Consciousness Create Reality?
3. Jailbait

Many thanks to all my viewers.

Happy 10th Birthday, dear Quantum Tantra Blog!


Ginny from Jurupa Valley said...

Congratulations, my online buddy, Nick... Happy 10th-year QTB date. Love your spirit, Me, Ginny, now of Anaheim. :)

Lynden Stone said...

Nick - wonderful post! Your post has inspired me to make more quantum paintings as, of late, I have been distracted by my Marxist critique of New Age exploitative capitalism (see www.sacredgaiahealing.com and Facebook sites for Angelica Leight and Runceley Chaser). Thanks for the mention in your post ! It was lovely to see Erwin's Puss again - it now lives in the entry hallway to Griffith University's Centre for Quantum Dynamics headed by the urbane Professor Howard Wiseman. Lynden

Anonymous said...

And a very Happy Birthday to you today as well!

Len Anderson said...

Happy Blog Birthday!!! Thank you for enriching us all with your intellect, humor, physics, and poetry—and even wisdom!

ecoecho said...

This psychology professor quotes you via Robert Anton Wilson...
Congrats on your quantum tantra blog. I've practiced quantum tantra in real life for 10 years! (plus a few more).

Lynden Stone said...

HI Nick
I feel very honoured to be mentioned in your 10 year retrospective wrap up - thank you. Even though "Erwin's puss" is in a great locale (Centre for Quantum Dynamics at Griffith University Brisbane) I miss him and it was lovely to see an image of the painting in your post.

Cheers and best for 2020

Aphrodite said...

Thanks for a great article. Check out an interesting article we have just posted on Dynamic Meditation and Tantra