About me

Here’s a short intro to me and the stuff I write about. In case you don’t know me in real life, here’s the best picture I’ve been ever taken:

I don’t often dress like this, but when I do, I take pictures.

First, a little bit about myself. I’m a full-time college professor and researcher, working at the intersection between artificial intelligence and formal systems. In this substack, I write about the many things that interest me, from technical topics in algorithms, CS theory, and AI, to more historical or philosophical pieces. I also write opinionated essays on science and education, including occasional rants.

Things I’m writing about

By subscribing, you will receive everything, but I like to keep articles sorted into sections so that you can subscribe to specific topics if you want to.

All my educational content is freely accessible. I mostly write evergreen introductory articles on many topics for all audiences. Feel free to browse the public archive to get a feel for the type of content I make, and here’s a quick

  • The Essays section contains opinionated short and medium-length essays on science, education, society, life, the universe, and everything else.

  • The Intro to CS section contains posts about clever algorithms, data structures, concepts, and paradigms in Computer Science, emphasizing intuitive ideas over formalism.

  • The Guides section is for guides to various skills. I plan to cover topics ranging from technical writing to open-source development to creating a business plan for a tech product.

  • The Great Ideas in CS is a special section for discussing the history of Computer Science, focusing on some of the most beautiful ideas in the field.

  • The Philosophy section is for light posts on some of the most intriguing philosophical aspects of Computer Science.

I also have two sections for supporters who kindly help sustain this publication.

  • The Mostly Harmless Newsletter is a bi-weekly deep dive into current AI and Computer Science topics, cutting the signal from the noise and the hype.

  • The Insiders section is for paid subscribers, who get access to meta posts, discussion threads, early drafts, and other goodies I'll tell you in a second. Occasionally, some important announces are published here for everyone.

Finally, there is casual stuff, including cross-posts, interviews, and everything else that doesn’t fit the remaining categories.

If you aren’t ready for a subscription but still want to support my work, you can leave a one-time tip and show your appreciation.

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Why upgrade to paid?

All the educational content I write in this substack will forever be free. I’ve had the incredible fortune of receiving a world-class education for free, and this is my humble way of paying a third.

But if you want to collaborate with a paid subscription, I can offer you my eternal gratitude and a few ways to enhance the experience of reading Mostly Harmless Ideas.

  • A bi-weekly newsletter discussing recent topics in AI and Computer Science.

  • A free one-on-one consultancy session where I’ll help you go through one problem in my areas of expertise. Just reply to this email and let me know how I can help you. You can claim this at any moment in the future if you need it.

  • Unique insider offers for everything I ever decide to publish commercially. That includes special discounts on books, courses, and other premium content and special deals on apps and services I make in the future.

Founding members get all of the above, plus a special place in my heart, and the following additional benefits:

  • I’ll give you my private phone number so you can call me anytime for a quick chat on any topic I can assist with.

  • I’ll book you 10 hours of free consultancy on any topic I’m knowledgeable about.

Note that if you are into professional software development, you can probably expense these benefits to your company. I can help you write an email to your supervisor highlighting the professional benefits of a paid subscription.

How you can participate

I write for my readers, including you (hopefully), so I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts about my writing. There are, at the moment, three places we can hang out in:

  • Each post has a comments section at the end where you can speak your mind, whether to give feedback, ask for clarifications, or start a discussion related to that post. If you get a post via email, you can directly reply from your email client.

  • There’s also a Chat that you can access on the web or directly in the app, where I’ll be hosting regular conversations around this substack in general, discussing things like which topics interest you the most, what’s your preferred schedule, ideas for collaboration, etc.

  • And finally, there’s the recent Notes section, where you can jump into any conversation started by me or any other Substack user, including yourself. I’ll mostly share the best stuff I read online and sometimes cross-post my stuff.

Ready to sign up?

So now that you know what you find here, I hope I’ve convinced you to stick around. Feel free to browse the archive to make up your mind, or reach out if you want to ask something. And if I’ve convinced you, hit that Subscribe button, and let’s take this relationship to the next step!

PS: If you think some of your loved ones would enjoy reading my stuff, please share this substack with them. Nothing would make me happier!

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Opinions, essays, full-blown technical articles, and short comments on Computer Science research, practice, and education.


Alejandro Piad Morffis

Democratizing knowledge one post at a time. I talk about Computer Science, AI, Education, Philosophy, you know, mostly harmless stuff. Building a community of tech writers on Substack. And now also venturing into creative writing.