The Whistle Sampler

Happy New Year! As a subscriber to my free monthly newsletter, The Whistle, here is what you receive in your inbox, every month – owl my wise-eyed thoughts and views for the month gone by on Peripatetic Perch. Click on the link below to view the January 2021 issue of The Whistle.


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The Whistle Library features engaging and important reports, discussions, articles and videos that I select from the Web every month for the exclusive reading and listening pleasure of subscribers.

Read on to know what subscribers to The Whistle are enjoying in January 2021 at The Whistle Library, when we are looking at the social contract in advanced countries post-Covid, the issues and impact of Brexit, India’s Aatmanirbharta 3.0 (a self-reliance economic stimulus package), Nobel Minds, Atul Gawande’s views on Covid, articles from the Paris Review and Literary Hub, as well as plenty from the world of western classical music.

Reading to Begin the New Year

Hello subscribers and welcome to The Whistle Library. As you can see, it’s all decked up for the festive season, even if we aren’t feeling too festive ourselves. To begin the New Year, which I hope will be better than 2020, I have reading for you that will help us anticipate and prepare for what to expect in 2021.

Naturally, the pandemic can’t escape our attention, so we begin with a study by McKinsey Global Institute on a subject that is indeed worth exploring. Since we have seen huge government intervention and spending during the pandemic, the study tries to assess the social contract and whether it has been revived in advanced economies. I understand the social contract a little differently – as a written and unwritten contract/agreement between governments and citizens – and I wouldn’t have interpreted it in terms of government spending alone. That said, the study does try and focus on some interesting aspects of government spending and private sector intervention in OECD countries.

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/covid-19-has-revived-the-social-contract-in-advanced-economies-for-now-what-will-stick-once-the-crisis-abates

Next, we have the impending Brexit to deal with and it is going to have huge implications for the UK economy in the future, not all of it pleasant. I will be writing about it on my blog, once again, but meanwhile I have an article from Chatham House, a British think-tank, on UK pivoting to the Indo-Pacific thanks to Brexit.

https://www.chathamhouse.org/2020/11/china-and-brexit-drive-uks-tilt-indo-pacific

Seeing Brexit from another angle, we also try and understand the main issues around it in this discussion from Bruegel, a European think-tank based in Brussels.

https://www.bruegel.org/events/the-sound-of-economics-live-the-future-of-eu-uk-relations-again%e2%80%a9/

For those of you interested in listening to the Nobel Prize 2020 winners discuss their work, here is a link to the BBC World News programme, Nobel Minds. I think Zeinab Badawi made a much better moderator of the conversation in previous years, but it’s worth watching, nevertheless.

Back in India, I had shared my Owl Wisdom Podcast on Aatmanirbhar 3.0 recently on my blog and I hope you have listened to it. Now I have an article from Ideas for India on yet another view on the stimulus package.

https://www.ideasforindia.in/topics/macroeconomics/aatmanirbhar-bharat-foreign-trade-capital-flows-and-india-s-growth.html

On the Covid pandemic itself, I have for you a conversation between Atul Gawande, who is now part of the Covid task force set up by President-elect Joe Biden, and the editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-new-yorker-interview/atul-gawande-on-coronavirus-vaccines-and-prospects-for-ending-the-pandemic

Having lived through a fairly dark year, here is an article on just that from The Paris Review by Nina McLaughlin.

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2020/11/30/inhale-the-darkness/

I hope you read my review of Ian McEwan’s book, Machines Like Me, on my blog. Here is an interesting article that explores the connections between sci-fi and socialism from Tribune Magazine UK, featured in The LitHub Daily Section.

https://tribunemag.co.uk/2020/12/how-sci-fi-shaped-socialism

Also from Literary Hub, I have for you a podcast in which Claire Messud discusses writing advice from Chekhov.

Claire Messud on Chekhov’s Best Advice

Taking us into the music section is an article from The Paris Review on Ella Fitzgerald and her music.

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2020/11/04/ella-fitzgerald-at-the-end-of-the-world/

And in music itself, I have for you two articles from Gramophone Magazine. One on Deutsche Grammophon’s new virtual concerts in December. And the other about a special tribute to honour Gramophone Artist of the Year, Igor Levit, for which they have partnered with Sony Classical Music.

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical-music-news/article/dg-unveils-seasonal-schedule-for-its-online-platform

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical-music-news/article/special-magazine-celebrating-igor-levit

And here is Igor Levit himself at the Salzburg Concert 2020, playing Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, which are one of my favourites.

You will get to see a new edit of my blog video, Birds of All Feathers, soon which has Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #1 played by Glenn Gould as its music.

And before I sign off, here are the best of what I read and listened to in the year of the pandemic. Thank goodness for small mercies.

Let’s all hope and pray for a good 2021. Happy New Year once again to you all and see you next month at The Whistle Library. Stay well and safe.