Mermin (1985) quotes an unnamed physicist as saying:
Anybody who's not bothered by Bell's theorem has to have rocks in his head.
This seemed like a pretty dire indictment, so I decided I had better look once again at this sort of thing in hopes that this time I would become disturbed. I read Mermin (1985), Greenberger (1990), and Mermin (1990). (There is also a well known lecture by Sidney Coleman, "Quantum mechanics in your face," but I'm impatient with videos, so I just gleaned the other three references from one of the slides in his talk.) Most of these are about GHZM experiments, which are advertised as similar to experiments that violate Bell's inequality, but more pedagogically direct -- which renewed my hope of being able to make myself bothered.
The following is what I came away with. Is this wrong?
Local realism seems to me to be more or less the statement that entanglement can't exist. What Bell and GHZM tell us is that we can't avoid entanglement using hidden variable theories.
When people say you should be disturbed by Bell and GHZM, I think what they have in mind is that you should be disturbed by entanglement. The only relevance of Bell and GHZM would be if you had in mind some idea of banishing entanglement using hidden variables.
I do find entanglement disturbing, but I have never seen any particular reason to seek escape in hidden variable theories. Am I guilty of having rocks in my head? Have I misunderstood something crucial?
References, with handy copyright-violating pdf links
Mermin, "Is the moon really there when nobody looks?," Physics Today, April 1985,
Greenberger, Horne, Shimony, and Zeilinger, "Bell's theorem without inequalities"
Mermin, "Quantum mysteries revisited," Am J Phys 58 (1990) 731