Is any of this based on reality?
Well, sort of. Isaacs wasn't researching quantum physics, but Batmanglij and Marling were taking inspiration from real life occurrences. For instance, Old Night, the implausible octopus that appears in the fourth episode, was inspired by a book the two were reading on octopus consciousness. (Batmanglij forgot the title, but there are in fact a number of texts on the subject.) "Brit would come in and tell me all about a book and then I had to go get it and devour it," Batmanglij said. "Octopuses have their brains in their tentacles. So we think, then feel, or feel, then think, but an octopus can think and feel at the same time."
And there's the very real idea of the "tree internet," connected through fungus. "I don't think we think about these things, at least I don't usually think about these in my daily life," Batmanglij added. 'And so when you start reading books about different types of consciousnesses, about the natural world, different animals, and start moving away from a human-centric, "humans at the top of the pyramid" thing and think of us as more of a whole planet..." He continued, crediting Marling's vision: "We're inviting the audience through genre, through fantasy, through metafiction, through secular fiction to look at the world in a different way. Or to maybe at least try."