car driving and relativity; relativity doesn't make sense
 
 

    when you're in a car driving on a highway
    -presuming the highway is in good condition, and smooth--perhaps that particularly black, new asphalt
    there sometimes comes a point when you realize that you (according to your spedometer) are going 80 or so mph
        -80 miles per hour is a speed which is great enough (numerically) to seem somehow more dangerous than
         the state approved 65mph.
    and, although the indicator gauges tell you that you're going 80, it certainly doesn't feel that way
    the road is smooth, and you're just bobbing along, bumped up a bit when you pass a crack in the road
    or perhaps leaned slightly left or right on a less-than-gradual turn
    --but, essentially, your experience is not specifically different that that when travelling 65mph, or even 30mph
        looking out the window might (logically) give you the thought of speed, but realistically, speed is not a
        purely visual phenomenon, so with the windows rolled up (and perhaps the stereo on), the visual speed is rather
        abstract.  furthermore, on a clean highway, this visual speed is only perceptable to the sides--the road oncoming
        doesn't even look that speedy.

    -so, our friend relativity puts a veritable blindfold up to our senses, preventing ourselves from the physical
     realization of velocity with which we travel.  is this somehow an enabler, something that allows us to bypass the
     horror of moving at that speed (that we can't feel it)?
 

    -furthermore, presuming you are driving your own car (or one familiar to you), let us consider what the environment
     of the car is.  it is, in fact, a transportable comfort zone, a portable place of familiarity.  conveniently, this
     place goes with you just about anywhere you drive.  and it's not just at the beginning and end of your trip, but
     at every place inbetween.
 

really large image of a snail

yes, yes, like this big snail with it's house on it's back.  you, moved by the car at large speeds, are simultaneously
enclosed/enveloped in this container of familiar space.  if you travel to a foreign place, but leave stuff in your car,
when you leave that place, you've still got the stuff in the car.  so enclosed is that car, that it's like a bucket.
once you're inside (strapped inside, in fact, so that you can't fly out unintentionally.  so that you go where the car
goes, and vice versa), and the whole space is shut, you can drop things, and they stay with you!  even if you fall onto
the floor, you're still in the car.

when you shut the doors, sealing your space to the outside, nothing can get in.  if it's wet outside, it doesn't have to be inside the car.  if there are loud sounds, or smoke, outside the car, they don't get inside.  it's like a protective suit.
 

gross crab
 

so, the inside of the car not only travels with you, but also becomes an entirely local environment.

this same thing happens with a plane, because you can't really tell it's moving so fast.  but a boat moves slowly, so you can tell.

perhaps this happens after a certain speed, because when you're in a boat, you usually can tell you're going a certain speed.

so, relativity.  is a translation, a subtraction.  if relativity didn't take away velocity like it does, not as many people would drive fast, because they would really see what going fast is like.  but sitting in a car in the garage feels the same as sitting in a car going fast.

going fast doesn't feel different.  the world inside the car is the same when you're fast or slow
why can we tell the difference between red and blue, but not fast or slow

physics explains relativity, but does it make sense?  when i go fast, (using a car) wouldn't it be safer if I could really tell that i was going 80mph?  why shouldn't 80mph feel like 80mph?  are we being protected from really knowing that speed?

and furthermore, what does a car do but make us feel more comfortable using speed?

-a car insulates us from things happening outside
    -in fact, a car has it's own inside, which we can get in
-a car makes it ok to go fast for a while, because once you stop, and are far away from home, you still have a little home-space around you, the car
-a car goes with us no matter how fast we go.

it's a bit disappointing that relativity makes velocity disappear.  so, i guess we can feel acceleration, but relativity can make that disappear too.

relativity doesn't make sense.  bad (or good) things can happen when things go too fast.  so, why can't we feel going fast?
 

a car is like:

 
a burrito


cozy blankets


a blindfold to speed


a womb (gross)

chris mcgraw 2002
home