The Uncanny Valley, Proust, Segways and the living dead

By Gordon Rugg I recently visited my old university town after being away for more than twenty years. It was a very unsettling experience; the town I saw was very different from the one I remembered, and those differences stirred … Continue reading

Liking, disliking, and averaging: Why average things are attractive but very attractive things are not average

By Gordon Rugg and Amy Martin There are regularities in human desire. Often, though, the actual regularities are subtly but profoundly different from the apparent regularities. In this article, we’ll look at one of these regularities. It starts with a … Continue reading


Cognitive load, kayaks, cartography and caricatures

By Gordon Rugg This article is the first in a short series about things that look complex, but which derive from a few simple underlying principles. Often, those principles involve strategies for reducing cognitive load. These articles are speculative, but … Continue reading

Iterative non-functional prototyping

By Gordon Rugg Sometimes, product development is straightforward. The client tells you what they want; you produce it; they’re happy with it, they pay you, and everything is fine. This is known in the field as the waterfall model of … Continue reading

How much is too much?

By Gordon Rugg There are various well-established answers to the question of how much is too much. (Though being well-established doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re true…) In this article, I’ll look briefly at four types of answer: Moral outrage An … Continue reading

The Knowledge Modelling Book

By Gordon Rugg Over the last year, we’ve blogged about various aspects of knowledge modelling. That’s allowed us to go into depth about specific topics. We’re now pulling that information together into a structured format, as an online book. This … Continue reading

Why Hollywood gets it wrong: Conflicting conventions

By Gordon Rugg Movies wilfully ignore and distort facts and truth for a wide range of reasons, most of them all too familiar. The usual suspects include: Cost Ignorance/not caring Going for even bigger special effects than the last movie … Continue reading