"I suspect Einstein had a version of my own internal simulator, one he put to use more effectively than I. Given a strong grasp of physics in that era, he could have readily generated new theories based on a few seconds of examining a behavior in his head--a behavior which would be perfectly in line with reality, even if he didn't understand it--and start working out the mechanics."
This is exactly what I think. I sit here and look at various systems, supposedly unrelated to most people, and suddenly I see a relationship between them. This is how I came to the conclusion that light isn't a requirement for photosynthesis (I looked at the system as another energy generation system, noted it's a solar system, and figured out other things like sending power down the molecular connections to other systems,) just the appropriate energy exposure via another means would do the trick. Funnily enough, after a few years, I find out that others have had this thought, and have PROVEN IT, a couple of years before I could figure out the proper experiment to even begin an attempt at proving such a thing, let alone even thought of such an experiment.
Never underestimate the power of ones internal gut feeling/intuition. It has led to more unexpected turn-arounds in history than you can imagine.