Preface

You must have seen infants and toddlers tinkering with things: they’ll focus intently on some little object, say a little wooden box, grasp it clumsily, claw at it, look at it from all sides, shake it, pound on it trying to break it open. At some point, all of a sudden—pop—it comes open! Now the undexterous hands gather the little animal figures lying nearby. One by one the hands jam figures into the box. More and more are stuffed in until they’re sticking out the top. The lid is tried and found not to fit. It is mashed a few times, and then alternatives are attempted. More force is applied with large, local objects. A few figures are removed. The lid is tried again. An iterative process is begun until the lid finally snaps shut on the ...

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