Hi. First off, you're a very good, fun writer. After you become a famous physicist, I think you could make a second career in writing physics books for the lay person, like Brian Greene, Lisa Randall, etc. have. My only other comments are:
1. In regard to the quote "Physicists like to say that all science is either physics or stamp
collecting", because I'm a biochemist/cell biologist, I resemble that comment! :-) This next part isn't meant in a critical way but only as an observation and a "Hey, biochemists are scientists, too"-type, rah, rah attitude. Given that I don't do physics, I can't say for sure, but from what I read, I do think physicists and mathematicians could learn some stuff from biochemistry in that:
A. We have to think in terms of physical mechanisms in which molecules and things are actually moving and doing stuff. Unfortunately, modern physicists seem to focus so much on the math that they don't really care about explaining phenomena in physical, "mechanical" terms. For instance, why does a negatively charged thing attract a positively charged thing. We can describe it mathematically, but what is the mechanism that pushes/pulls these two things together. Exchanging photons between them doesn't seem to explain anything to me. If you and I throw a ball to each other, we don't necessarily move closer or farther apart.
B. We have to think about possible artifacts interfering with experiments. Taking things out of the natural, physiological system can very often alter the results compared to what is obtained within that system. Many things in math and physics seem to ignore this possibility. Also, I assume physicists have positive and negative controls for experiments? We have to do this kind of thing for every experiment.
C. Many emergent phenomena may be ultimately derivable from physics, but I'm guessing it's faster to do biological experiments to figure out how a cell works than to derive the workings from electrons, protons, math, etc.
2. My view is that whether the universe is made of its or quanglements, both of these are existent entities. Maybe, faster progress would be made in answering questions like Smolin's "what matter really is" and "why is there something rather than nothing?" if we argued less about what to call these fundamental existent entities and worked more on how such an entity might produce the universe we live in. That's what I try to do in my essay and at my website:
Anyways, I think yours was a very good essay and I look forward to seeing your name in a future newspaper article about winning the Nobel Prize! Good luck!