In 2011, the filmmaker and writer Errol Morris published a series of five articles that may rank as the oddest production of his long and varied career. The first began like this:

It was April, 1972. The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. The home in the 1950s of Albert Einstein and Kurt Gödel. Thomas Kuhn, the author of “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” and the father of the paradigm shift, threw an ashtray at my head.

Taken by itself, this sort of flamboyant anecdote seems like pure Morris, consonant with the other series he has published with the New York Times as part of their Opinionator section . . .

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