This note would be more proper as a personal e-mail, or letter, to you, but since I don't have your address, this forum will have to do. (Anyone else is welcome to read this, but be forewarned -- it may bore you to tears.)
I hope this note finds you and yours happy and in good health. I want to extend my sincerest thanks to you, Harv, for fulfilling an ardent wish of mine. That wish was that you and Dick Stafford would get involved in a serious discussion of his work. I sincerely appreciate the effort you have expended in your many attempts to understand what he has done.
Let me explain why that means so much to me. You and I had been in several conversations on counterbalance on such subjects as the "Almightiness" of God, and the role of the church, before I ever knew of Dick Stafford. In the course of my dialogs with you, I had invited you to read some essays in my personal website. I don't think you ever did, but that is neither here nor there.
As it turned out, Dick stumbled across my web site, read my essays, and it was he who first contacted me. Dick and I proceeded to have an intensive and extensive conversation about the ideas he presented in his paper. Several times I suggested strategies to Dick for bringing his work to the attention of the academy. In all cases, Dick admonished me, making it clear that he had no such interest. He said he was only interested in finding someone who was, a) educated in math, b) intelligent enough to follow his work, and c) interested enough to read and study his paper.
His contact with me, rather like a drowning man grasping at a straw, was made in hopes that I might satisfy his three criteria. If I had to grade myself, I would say my scores were a) 50%, b) 25%, and c) 100%. My math competence is sufficient for me to comprehend all but the last half-page of his Chapter 1, but alas, no further. My intelligence score is a little harder for me to evaluate as I am too close to the problem. But my enthusiasm and eagerness are nearly unbounded. I worked long and hard, with a lot of help and coaching from Dick, to arrive at the meager level of understanding of his work that I now have.
This is where you enter the picture, Harv. If you remember, I first tentatively mentioned Dick's work to you in a parenthetical comment in one of my posts. As I got further into Dick's work, I began to wish and hope that you would take a serious look at his work. I invited Dick to join the counterbalance forum in the hopes that you two might begin a dialog. I am overjoyed that you did, and the sole purpose of this note is to thank you for that.
The reason is not that I think you might be the person Dick is looking for. I think that even though you might score considerably higher than me on b), I suspect that you might be a shade lower than me on a). With the persistence you have shown in your latest dialog with Dick, your score on c) seems to be nudging, if not equaling, my own.
The reason I am so delighted with your participation is that, unlike my conversations with Dick, yours is in a public forum. Who knows who might read it? The possibility opens up that someone with a triple-100 score will discover Dick's work as a result. As I recently wrote to Dick, I feel as though I am the president of his fan club sitting in the bleachers rooting him on. You even referred to me as Dick's Apostle Paul at one time, which pleased me a great deal.
Anyway, thanks for reading this, Harv, and thank you for your efforts in discussing Dick's work with him.