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Good reads #2: Dunning-Kruger, influence, AI, presidential campaign branding, and more.


I have a real mix for you this week. As usual, starting off with stuff I think my fellow Product Managers will love; a little on the Dunning-Kruger effect and on the power of influence.

What else is there? The state of AI in 2019, the branding of campaigns of women candidates for the 2020 presidential race, social media duty of care, LGBTQI rights, and a gripe about icons in your apps.


An expert on human blind spots gives advice on how to think by Brian Resnick.

David Dunning, of Dunning-Kruger effect fame, talks about that, his current research, and just how misunderstood his work has been.

[..] not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition. The problem with it is we see it in other people, and we don’t see it in ourselves.

Influence: A Product Manager’s Secret Weapon by Marissa F.
To Be Persuasive, You’re Going to Need More Than Facts on the Farnam Street blog.

Here are two pieces to be read together. Both are talking about important parts of the Product Manager toolkit: influence and persuasion. Why read both together? Each covers the topic from a slightly different point of view, highlighting different things to think about. In truth, you probably need to be thinking about all of these things ;)

The real-world AI issue by various contributors at The Verge.

Much misunderstood and maligned, Artificial Intelligence is the stuff of dystopian film and TV. I liked this magazine of articles about how AI is impacting our world right now because it sets the record straight on a great many things.

It’s a great read, split into sections. Understanding AI, Applications of AI, and AI in pop culture.

The women running for President are breaking the rules of branding by Deroy Peraza on the Hyperakt blog.

This is an interesting perspective on the campaign branding of the 2020 presidency hopefuls. The women who have entered the race are so far breaking free of the age old red-white-and-blue. This is a great piece with a little history on campaign branding, and some thoughtful analysis on what we’re seeing today.

Social media companies must be subject to legal ‘duty of care’ from the UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee.

The Science and Technology Committee has concluded that social media companies must be subject to a legal duty of care to help protect young people’s health and wellbeing when accessing their sites.

I think this speaks for itself. It’s damn hard to argue that social media platforms don’t owe their users a duty of care, particularly when we’re inundated with news and word of mouth stories about the negative, and sometimes devastating, psychological effects of social media usage. The report from the Science and Technology Committee is well worth a read.


Ellen Page Calls Out Hateful Leadership on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

I’m a big fan of Ellen Page, I have to admit. Her advocacy for LGBTQI rights stands out and I love that she uses her platform for this.

The whole interview is worth your time, but the embed below starts towards the end. It’s a powerful perspective, and the whole studio audience falls silent to hear what Ellen had to say. I encourage you to grab your headphones and watch as well.

Social media

This tweet by Matt Wilcox

Designers: icons for actions is A BAD IDEA. Just had to help my mum write an email on a tablet after years of using the Gmail app and thinking it was reading only. The fucking pencil icon means nothing and the paper aeroplane doesn’t mean “send” either. Use. Words. On. Buttons.