It seems to me that you have no experience living somewhere with a functioning bus network and you are trying to insist to someone who (a) does and (b) regularly catches the bus that a functioning bus network can't possibly work.
If your logic doesn't match reality, then it is your logic which is flawed, not reality.
These are inherent problems with buses, they are not a local problem. They are either inefficient or annoying AF, they cannot be both efficient and pleasant because of physics.
Physics says nothing about pleasantness, so that's a bogus argument. Either way, a new routemaster has a seating capacity of about 60 or so, and it's just not that bad if you have a seat. Frankly it's not that bad standing either if the journey isn't too long. Also, sitting in traffic in a car is far from being a pile of laughs. You can't do anything really except watch the road, and you can't simply bail abandoning your car and walking if the congestion is simply too heavy.
Nope. Platooning would erase that advantage,
No, that's utter junk. Firstly platooning doesn't erase the advantage because unlike buses, it doesn't actually exist in any meaningful way at the moment. Secondly it doesn't work because the numbers don't work. A new routemaster is 11.23 meters long and holds 90 passengers at max capacity (average occupancy 17). The average car is about 4.5m long, so the bus is about 2.5 car lengths long. The average car occupancy during commutes is around 1.2. So, even if you bolt the cars nose to tail the cars will still take up 6 times as much room on the road as the bus.
And as it happens, the bus occupancy tends to be higher on busier routes which also have more traffic, so the improvement in traffic flow
ut it is already imaginary because buses perturb traffic. It actually makes every other vehicle that has to deal with it more polluting because it has to go around it,
Not if there's not room, and not if the traffic is heavy. In rush hour, waiting at lights is going to be far more dominant than waiting for a bus to take on or discharge passengers. And having more in buses will reduce the amount of time waiting at lights.
and it damages roads at least an order of magnitude more than cars.
That is the only valid point you have.
It's difficult to imagine a way to make transporting humans on roads less efficient.
It's very, very easy to disprove your point. Go to a city with a functioning bus network, and stand at a busy road during rush hour. Count the number of people going by on the road per second. Now go back and amend your figures replacing the counts from every bus with the average car result. You will see a drastic drop in the carrying capacity of the road.