Re: Looking for Aiki (in all the wrong places)
There's so much you say that I strongly agree with, and, if I'm reading you correctly, much of what you are saying seems in agreement with my own thoughts.
For the record, I don't feel particular vulnerable, and if I'm being challenged, then it's in an agreeable way.
That said, I'm not sure you're going to get satisfaction from me on what may be your central point. I've done my best to explain what aiki is in my view (as a continuum, and not a binary), and with each video referenced I have already commented on a particular feature that relates it to aikido, except explicitly with the Contact Improv.
As to your last point, there may be some philosophical divergence. If we only use aikido to explain aikido, then all we have is a tautology, which is something I do my best intellectually to avoid.