Even when I was, I was not uncritically dependent on my instructors.

Yes, very, very good indeed. This is why, I don't think we even have a major disagreement here. I love the math as much as you do.

Kindly allow me the same latitude to be critically independent of only ONE of my former physics profs who taught us Minkowski spacetime, and also just one of Einstein's calculus teachers (yes, the same individual).

You may find this incredible for me to admit at this late stage of the thread, but it's a fact that

**I NEVER had any sort of dispute with any of my college math instructors, including calculus, vector calculus, linear algebra.** Lagrangian dynamics went very smoothly as well. All of those instructors were the best of the best of the best. None of my math instructors had even the slightest interest in anything related to relativity. Derivatives and integrals of position with respect to time was about the only topic related to physics that any of them even touched on.

Giving up physics completely and studying math would have been a wiser choice for me. It wouldn't have left me with this stupid obsession either, now would it?

I can't seem to shake it because I followed all of the steps Minkowski used to arrive at his conclusions, understand the import of the results, and yet to me it is so very, very wrong headed from its very inception, it literally makes me nauseous just thinking about how anyone with that great a command of the math could go so wrong so very, very easily. But it isn't even the math that is wrong. It's his whole conception of what time is, and the deliberate wrong way he generalized it just because he favored a particular means of analysis.

Sure, you could use quaternion Fourier analysis to normalize 4D eigenfunctions in a complex statistical hyperbolic space, but why would anyone choose to do that to solve problems that are conceptually much simpler? Sometimes, you simply don't need every mathematical tool in the bag. A nutcracker will leave more edible nut meat to enjoy than a sledge hammer that renders both the nut and its shell into an even distribution of inedible, incomprehensibly distasteful, inelegant and repulsive spot of nut pulp adhering to the sidewalk.

Oh, sure, the math works, and when you are finished, nothing moves any more. What happened to time? It was mathematically minimized and eliminated in favor of analysis of simultaneous events in a higher dimension. Too bad. Time was the only dimension that was ever really there to begin with.

He could have done the same thing more elegantly with nothing more exotic than a one dimensional graphic nomogram.