What I learnt this week – 26th week 2020

This weeks what I read is a bit shorter than normal, as I’m hiking in Interlaken with my girlfriend to celebrate my end of exams.

What I read

This week I have read and thought about the need for an understanding of nuance and an understanding of balance in the press. The first article is a very intelligent exploration of nuance and of the way that some people feel isolated by the narratives that the Left often push, despite being left wing themselves. It is also a very interesting and emotionally engaging piece so I would recommend reading it.

The second article on a similar topic puts these ideas into the context of the press It talks about how journalists who even question the Left narrative are pushed out and are labelled as racist, homophobic, and misogynistic. This is a very important piece for these times of extreme divide.

I didn’t think the third article was as good as the others on the first read, but the topic has grown on me and the ideas have consistently wriggled their way to the top of my mind. This is an exploration of the dangers of the bandwagon mentality that twitter and other social media websites show.

I think these ideas have been on the top of my mind recently because of how many protests are organised over social media, and because of the storms of hate that J.K. Rowling is receiving at the moment due to her being a TERF. To clarify, in this blog post I am not taking any stance on these issues. I don’t feel like I understand enough to do that. I also want to understand enough to be able to take a nuanced stance on these issues and be able to back them up.

What I watched

This week the most interesting video I watched was a more involved explanation from Ben Felix about the decision between renting and buying. Ben Felix takes into account the cost of equity capital and the mortgage costs.

What I managed to understand

This week I struggled with an article from the HBR that compared two different accounting methods. It compares earnings calculated using a book method, using the cost of capital invested and adjusted for appreciation, and the market approach, which uses the market value of capital to calculate whether or not earnings are above what capital costs. I finally understood this article and would recommend it to anyone without a finance or accounting background.

What do you think about these articles? What would you recommend I read next? Let me know at contact@callumacdonald.com.

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