Alessio Maffeis

52 Flips | 1 Magazine | 26 Likes | 1 Following | 29 Followers | @iMaffo | A designer trapped in an engineer's body.

The broken promise of re-use

My recommendation is to go for replaceability instead of re-use. Replaceability leads in the right direction: you think about how to separate …

Technology

The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete. Here’s What’s Next

It’ll be some time before computational notebooks replace PDFs in scientific journals, because that would mean changing the incentive structure of …

Complexity Bias: Why We Prefer Complicated to Simple

Complexity bias is a logical fallacy that leads us to give undue credence to complex concepts.<br>Faced with two competing hypotheses, we are likely to …

Attack Of The Micro Brands

For the past decade we’ve invested in and celebrated companies through the lens of network effects, Amazon’s power in retail, and measuring the …

On #DeleteFacebook

Do I counsel you to delete your Facebook account? #DeleteFacebook is a virtue with some, but with many almost a vice.I asked Nietzsche what he thinks …

Common Sense Eats Common Talk

At this point, we are left to answer a critical question. How can we decide when to overrule our common sense? What should we do in the many, almost …

Common Sense

The impossibility of intelligence explosion

The basic premise is that, in the near future, a first “seed AI” will be created, with general problem-solving abilities slightly surpassing that of …

Artificial Intelligence

The Burden of Precision

Without beautiful, precise pictures of the product we wish to create, how do we gain resources to actually make them a reality? This new approach …

Product Design

The beginning of silent reading changed Westerners’ interior life

For centuries, Europeans who could read did so aloud. The ancient Greeks read their texts aloud. So did the monks of Europe’s dark ages. But by the …

17th Century

Running in Circles

People in our industry think they stopped doing waterfall and switched to agile. In reality they just switched to high-frequency waterfall.Agile …

Product Management

DRM Is Toxic To Culture

The problem with technology-enforced restrictions isn’t that they allow legitimate enforcement of rights; it’s the collateral damage they cause in …

DRM

The world is poorly designed. But copying nature helps

Nice video from Vox and 99% Invisible’s Roman Mars about biomimicry.It reminds me of Bruno Munari’s analytical study of plants and fruits in his must …

Biomimicry

Music was better back then: When do we stop keeping up with popular music?

Mainstream artists are at the center of a circle, with each larger concentric ring representing artists of decreasing popularity. The average U.S. …

Pop Music

Kiss the good times goodbye

It saddens me to say it, but we are approaching the end of the automotive era.The auto industry is on an accelerating change curve. For hundreds of …

General Motors

Against an Increasingly User-Hostile Web

I quit Facebook seven months ago.Despite its undeniable value, I think Facebook is at odds with the open web that I love and defend. This essay is my …

Essays

We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

So when people voice fears of artificial intelligence, very often, they invoke images of humanoid robots run amok. You know? Terminator? You know, …

Artificial Intelligence

The Myth of a Superhuman AI

The most common misconception about artificial intelligence begins with the common misconception about natural intelligence. This misconception is …

Artificial Intelligence

Is the e-book a dead format?

For the moment, reports of the e-book’s death are exaggerated. If the disinterest of Amazon and resistance from the book trade continue, however, …

eBooks

Battle For World’s Most Valuable Consumer

Can you think of any other demographic, ethnic or social group that anyone would claim is best influenced by targeting someone else? The whole …

Marketing

The Two Western Cultures of Privacy: Dignity Versus Liberty

So why do these sensibilities differ? Why is it that French people won’t talk about their salaries, but will take off their bikini tops? Why is it …

Privacy

Vonnegut: How To Write With Style

All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful. No matter what your first language, you should …

Kurt Vonnegut

Why we choose profit

Profits focus the mind. There are so many things we could do as a company, but far less that really constitute the essence of why we’re here. Profits …

Profit

A Brief History of JavaScript

It all happened in six months from May to December 1995. Netscape Communications Corporation had a strong presence in the young web. Its browser, …

JavaScript

The Futures of Typography

Typesetting on the web has evolved from a quirky afterthought into an invaluable practice. Within a span of twenty years complex interfaces that …

Typography

The Tech that Turns Each of Us Into a Walled Garden

The big change is: there’s now no difference between ads and content. Content, the information you see on your feed, is targeted at you just like …

Fake News

Algorithms Could Save Book Publishing, But Ruin Novels

“Part of the beautiful thing about books, unlike refrigerators or something, is that sometimes you pick up a book that you don’t know,” says …

Book Publishing

This Italian company pioneered innovative startup culture, in the 1930s

A politician, as well as a chemical engineer and entrepreneur, Olivetti had a philosophical view of entrepreneurship, one that put people and …

Startups

Wherefore art thou Macintosh?

The key to the Mac therefore becomes that which the iPad/iPhone isn’t: an indirect input device. The keyboard and mouse/trackpad are what define the …

InterAct

The story of Nebiolo

The Italian type foundry Nebiolo of Turin was the biggest type and printing equipment manufacturer in Italy. It started in 1852 and thrived in the …

Foundries

Is this my interface or yours?

Why do products sometimes label things as my stuff, and sometimes label things as your stuff?Interesting post by John Saito on the use of different …