That was an interesting post. I'd like to make some comments:
the need for a theory where the observer is in the system rather than being an outside observer, like the Maxwell/Boltzmann feedback analysis.
I'm no physicist so my comments might be beside the point, but it appears to me that including the observer in the observation is a hell of a difficult job. You'd have to get rid of the concept of observation to start with, and I have no idea what other concept could replace it. At the same time, ignoring the observer eventually leads to unsolvable problems, which to me means science, and rational thought, is limited by its very nature.
it appears that the M/B theory only works for systems where entropy is at a maximum. In other words it is not a fully dynamic theory. And I wonder if that limitation would also apply to [Dick's] theory. Do [Dick's] numbers have to be static or stable in some other manner
Just between ourselves: I think this is a very problematic aspect in Dick's paper. Something doesn't smell good about his definition of time, but for the life of me I can't put my hands on it.
But you do say that it does not matter where you put the zero point of the coordinate system- the notorious shift symmetry. Is it possible that you could get the same result without using a coordinate system. Afterall, it's just a set of numbers.
Now this was the most fascinating part of your post. I have seen your criticism on Dick's usage of the shift symmetry and, again not being a physicist, I couldn't tell whether you had a valid point or not. Now it's all clear to me, thanks to the above, and I hate to admit I think Dick is right (this is getting boring, I'm afraid)
I could never imagine that people can actually think that the fact that the movement of a coordinate system, which only exists in our imagination, cannot possibly affect any aspect of reality actually tells you something about reality. At the risk of sounding arrogant, that to me is sheer foolishness. If all "symmetries" are like that, and if physics can in fact be derived from symmetries, I think what Dick has "discovered" will be found by many other people, and I don't think it will take long.
Dick once wrote something I still don't understand well. As I recall it, he said he set out to find a procedure to eliminate "bogus results" from any rational analysis of reality, and he found that those bogus results actually turn out to be the laws of physics. When I first read that I thought he was not joking, now I started to think it actually makes sense. It's just that the claim is too bold to be accepted without fully understanding it - if he's right, the consequences can be mind-boggling.
Too bad I won't live to see what will come out of it.