stoicism supportingForgive the scattershot tendencies and directions of this essay.

Just lots of short items written quickly from my hotel room in downtown Portland, just blocks from Powells (which I’ve yet to visit).

A few book recommendations

I’m currently reading Sam Gregg’s new book, Wilhelm Roepke’s Political Economy. Written in a more academic but equally engaging style than his last book, The Commercial Society, Gregg’s new book presents Roepke in the light of Christian Humanism and the 19th and 20th century papal encyclicals on economics, society, and social justice. While Gregg clearly admires Roepke, he also justly criticizes the humane economist for several of his views. Not surprisingly, Gregg’s book has been a joy, and I’m eager to finish it. I will be reviewing it fully over at the University Bookman. I highly recommend it.

A good friend and former colleague, economist Mark Steckbeck, recommended to me recently The Pixar Touch by David Price. I just finished the book, having found it a thoroughly excellent read. With this book, Price offers a necessary glimpse into one of the most important business enterprises of our day. Price, a follower of Joseph Schumpeter, ably details Pixar’s decade long struggle against cultural decadence, poor art, and quick profit seeking, arguing—ultimately successfully, but not without serious struggles—that true storytelling and excellence comes from delicate, nuanced, and (yes, paradoxically) grueling fortitude. The author also nicely describes the vital role of Apple’s Steve Jobs in the success of Pixar.

One of my favorite quotes from the book: “People are inherently creative,” Jobs stated. “They will use tools in ways the toolmakers never thought possible.”

A question

John W.—I hate to admit my ignorance, but I’m not familiar with Pogo. The only Pogo I know is the company (TenOneDesign) that makes styli for iPads. I’d be curious to know more about the cartoon character.

I found this at Wikipedia and assume it’s accurate.

Blog recommendation

I’m a serious fan of anything Carl Olson writes, but I’m especially taken with his Sunday scriptural reflections. Carl inevitably draws brilliant insights out of the readings each week.

Carl, if you’re reading this—please publish your reflections as a book!

Books mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative BookstoreThe Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

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