When bookshops were miraculous, romantic places

I began a series of essays on Christmas movies last week with The Bishop’s Wife (1947), a story about church, the community of the faithful, and spiritual responsibility. This week, I’m writing about a less lofty subject, the community of the workplace and the life of commerce, but a much better movie, The Shop Around the Corner (1940), one of the classics of old Hollywood, directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as shopkeepers who fall in love over Christmas. Continue Reading...

Advent: Dig deep for freedom, liberty, and love

Christmas is a busy season for the entrepreneur, the business owner, and the worker. There are the demands of production, the management of the supply chain (a significant problem in the contemporary business world), and the need to sell products, especially so if they are seasonal. Continue Reading...

Rising to the challenges of ‘so-so automation’

Fears about job loss and human obsolescence continue to consume the cultural imagination, compounded by ongoing strides in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The job-killing robots are almost at the door, we are told, mere moments away from replacing the last traces of human inefficiency and heralding the dawn of a world without work. Continue Reading...