Essay: What's So Great About Acuity?

As a child, I measured my mental development (and I was the sort of child, I confess, who found his own mental development fascinating) by the complexity of the jigsaw puzzles I was able to complete. As I learned to do puzzles with smaller, more numerous pieces, graduating from simple farmyard scenes to detailed panoramas of city skylines, I felt better and better about myself. The adults in my life seemed to feel better about me too. But then something unexpected happened. One afternoon when I was 10 or so, I finished a 1,000-piece puzzle of the Milky Way and came...

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