Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-23-14, 02:18 AM   #1
Artkansas 
Pedaled too far.
Thread Starter
 
Artkansas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: La Petite Roche
Bikes:
Posts: 12,859
Car-Free Relativity

Einstein was riding a bus when he conceived his theory of relativity. Is it possible that had he been driving that he would have been too distracted to have thought about it?

[video=youtube_share;NyK5SG9rwWI]http://youtu.be/NyK5SG9rwWI[/video]
__________________
"He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
Artkansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-14, 08:26 PM   #2
wipekitty
fixed kitty!
 
wipekitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Wisconsin
Bikes: Yes
Posts: 349
Einstein also walked to work - at least when he was at the Institute for Advanced Study. His walking buddy was the mathematician Kurt Godel. I wonder what they talked about.
wipekitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-14, 08:32 PM   #3
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,351
One time Einstein's car broke down. He took it to a quantum mechanic.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-14, 08:33 PM   #4
gerv 
In the right lane
 
gerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed
Posts: 9,531
I find this a fascinating topic, but I fear it'll be short-lived unless we connect it to the bus or a bike

Anyway, I can say I work as a software developer, where the logic probably a bit like a mathematical equation.

Funny thing is that I often get a revelation after a good night's sleep. The "aha!" moment is also best for the most complex problems after about 3 days away from the problem.

However, when I'm riding a bike, I'm in such a mindless bliss that I can't think of much else except how nice it would be to fly!!
gerv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-14, 09:34 PM   #5
B. Carfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Bikes:
Posts: 6,152
IIRC, Ogston came up with his three-point attachment hypothesis for enzyme-substrate recognition while riding on the bus as well.

I know when I was a research biochemist the most common place for an "aha" moment was about half way to work (24 miles each way) while riding my bike. I wonder what I could have come up with if I'd only taken the bus.
B. Carfree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-14, 11:09 PM   #6
tandempower
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 1,605
Space-time experience varies with speed. It changes the way you experience physical geography. Places most people whiz by in a car, I have come to appreciate as landmarks while cycling. 150 mile round trip could be a day-trip in a car but to me it's a multi-day trip because I would cycle it. I've sometimes thought of this as relativity at the experiential level.

The concept can be extended to air travel as well. The world is very different geographically when you are traveling by jet airliner. Major world cities are reachable in day's travel. Continents are to air travelers as states of the US are to drivers. For a cyclist, the region of one US state is like the whole US is to someone driving.

By jet airliner, cities whiz by the way a shopping center would when you're cycling. Passing a house might be the equivalent while walking. What passes by at this speed while driving?

Also think about what is lost to vision-blurring at various speeds. I notice plants, flowers, and houses in detail when cycling that just whiz by when driving. The plants and flowers are totally blurred; the houses somewhat. When walking nothing is really blurred unless I'm jogging or running. When flying, it's the scaling that changes perspective. Nothing's really blurred but a whole city appears like an ant-colony where cars are like the size of ants or beetles.

I don't think it's exactly what Einstein was intending to describe with the theories of relativity but at the experiential level, it is scaling variations in space-time. What's really interesting about it is that the same city or region can be experienced in different ways using different vehicles.

It's strange to think about how many people only have the experience of driving within a region and have never cycled for several hours on an open road. The closest they can get to that experience is if they stop their car for a few minutes and get a 'snapshot experience' of a certain spot. They can't imagine what it's like to experience a moving image of that road at 15mph. If they would drive that slow, it would just feel like being delayed and their patience would run out quickly.

On a bike, averaging 15-20 mph feels like a fast pace yet you're getting a much higher level of resolution in the moving image you're taking in. It's amazing how much the mode of transport and speed affect experience of space-time.
tandempower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-14, 11:16 PM   #7
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 1990s Peugeot (Canadian-made) rigid mountain bike; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others
Posts: 10,185
I've mentioned this before. Across the street from the math institute at the University of Toronto is a bar called "Einstein". It's a great name because it is also beer reference: "ein stein" can mean "one mug" (of beer).
cooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-14, 11:17 PM   #8
tandempower
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 1,605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody View Post
One time Einstein's car broke down. He took it to a quantum mechanic.
Was that on the cold day that Schrodinger's cat hid under the hood for warmth and ended up entangled in the fan belt?
tandempower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-14, 11:18 PM   #9
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 1990s Peugeot (Canadian-made) rigid mountain bike; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others
Posts: 10,185
Quote:
Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Was that on the cold day that Schrodinger's cat hid under the hood for warmth and ended up entangled in the fan belt?
It may or may not have been there.
cooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:06 AM.