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You might want to check out the essay "Magic Ink" by Bret Victor [1] which explains what the parent comment is alluding to.

I do think that he's describing something orthogonal to Flat design though, since you can do the same with skeuomorphic design.

[1] http://worrydream.com/MagicInk/

Thanks for the link. I'm sure I've never seen it, but perhaps I am expressing the same zeitgeist.

The quote I was thinking of is:

"Re graphics: A picture is worth 10K words - but only those to describe the picture. Hardly any sets of 10K words can be adequately described with pictures."

  -- Alan J. Perlis, Epigram 39*

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