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An interesting paper on the long an tortuous Einstein's journey through the tensors.

"For much of the period between 1912 and 1916 he was truly lost in the tensors, quite completely on the wrong path, accompanied by erroneous reasons he claimed to be fundamental.
And yet, quite singularly, in the course of a month he abondoned his errors and their justifications.
The moral, perhaps, is that a certain fickleness is more conducive to theoretical progress than is any abundance of conceptual clarity -- at least if one is Einstein."

Lost in the Tensors: Einstein's Struggles with. Covariance Principles, 1912-1916