You do realize that the thrust of your argument assumes there is no right or wrong. Let me say it another way. What if the IP crowd was somehow proved to be exactly correct.
I don't think is assumes there is no right or wrong; certainly, I
do not think there is no right or wrong. I tend to assume the IP crowd is pretty much right in their assessment of things in general...so much of it rings true to me and my assumptions about human nature and learning. What I'm saying is that we would generally do better to address the intended meaning rather than the terms; to excuse the fact that "aiki" as Ueshiba Morihei meant it is simply inaccessible to a large number of people (I consider myself to be one of them, based on my relatively low level of personal study) and that we will rarely be able to change a person's mind once they have a working definition developed...particularly
when it's corroborated by so many of their peers and teachers. Rather than trying to change this, which is almost impossible in a venue like this, it would be better to read between the lines to whatever it is they actually mean. On the mat, I think framing things in terms of right and wrong (with reasoning provided) is essential. On the internet, not so much. Some might think this is rhetorical dishonesty, but I view it as a kind of etiquette necessary when talking with strangers.
Aiki is either everything and anything to anybody based on individual teachers or it was and is in fact a given and teachable body technology with a history. Can a million people be wrong? Yes.
Absolutely a million people can be wrong! However semantics do change over time and geography and social settings. When someone says O Sensei meant this or that, it's a time for saying, I believe you're right or wrong and here is the historical evidence for why. That's not always what these discussions have said though. And really, I'm not talking about who's right or wrong. I'm talking about how rancor can be abated in a conversation over the internet.
I would only add once again my OP and what I raised there. Real results
I took your OP to include more than results. I think you are very much an empiricist and that it why I trust your point of view, even though I'm not in a position to understand it like many other people. I think many people mistake
your efforts at pointing to empirical evidence (albeit evidence that is inaccessible to most people here and as such is essentially hearsay to their "ears") for bragging. I think that is another cause for the rancor and another reason why I agree with your suggestion that people try to see the best in each other.
I am being pulled away right now before being able to review what I've written so please forgive any poorly written bits. I'll only add for now that I don't think the personalities are the problem; I attribute all rancor to problems of personality interaction; that doesn't mean the personalities are flawed in my mind, only that some personalities have a harder time of interacting with other personalities; both can still be great personalities.
Ok gotta go for now. Thank you for the reply, Dan, sincerely!
I'll try to come back tomorrow and give a better reply.
Happy New Year!