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?
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.
"There are no fast bikes - only fast people." - Some smart person
One time Einstein's car broke down. He took it to a quantum mechanic.
"Think Outside the Cage"
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!!
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.
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.
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).