" You understand Einstein this summer, but did not last summer "
I have a very serious character flaw: when I realize I'm wrong, not only I admit it but I also feel proud of having learned something.
That is a character flaw because it undermines my reputation, as any rational person knows that intelligent people never make mistakes, much less admit it!
" You demand of Alan that he tell us, "in three sentences at most, what in the world" he’s talking about. "
No, I didn't "demand" anything from Alan, I only asked him to tell *me* what he's talking about, and that is only because I'm honestly interested in his ideas, as opposed to being interested in making him appear like a clown.
" Yet neither you nor Stafford can tell us in such simple terms what "challenges" of Stafford’s the rest of us might enjoy exploring ... "
It's my experience that you can never convince a person of a fact that person does not want to accept. But that is not what concerns me. The real problem is, if that ever happens to you how would you know about it? Are there facts about the world which I'm refusing to accept?
In a sense, that's Stafford's challenge, in a sentence instead of three. I'm sure it's not good enough for you, as you are sure the issue does not exist.
" I think Stafford's "challenges" are old news, and as you [...] explore these ideas, you're slowly learning exactly how old and commonplace they are. "
Is that so? Is quantum mechanics old news? Relativity? Is the fact that physics doesn't make sense even to most physicists old news?
What planet are you from?