A “Catholic Signal Corps” – Thinking about a Catholic digital future and this blog

Semper paratus.

Here is an idea I have brought up in the past.

Since this blog is facing huge changes, of existential ramifications, I have pondered how much easier life could be for me and for others if there were a

Catholic Signal Corps“.

What do I mean?

Firstly, consider that big social media outlets are filtering, censoring, shadow banning content and users whose opinions are not “acceptable” to them.

Consider also that this is going to get worse as we continue to polarize.

Next, people who want to or who do use the interwebs for good, Catholic works usually don’t have the tech background to, say, be a server administrator or to unwedge problems as they arise… and they always arise.

Building up a free standing site and keeping it updated and running is not easy. Not just anyone can do it.  Believe me.  I have practical knowledge of the problem, not theoretical.

It it hard to find good tech help that is both capable and reliable.

I can’t say how many times I’ve reached out to find some help and, after deciding that this or that person might be okay, he turns out to be incapable of maintaining even basic communication.

In any event, a friend of mine who is solidly Catholic has in the past been seriously involved in tech development.  Some time ago, we discussed forming a reliable and capable group of tech savvy Catholics who could form a “corps” to help keep Catholic sites up and running.

Our conversation also ran to future needs, such as the creation of “distributed architecture technology” and a decentralized web, in the case that the powers-that-be decide that we shouldn’t have a voice in the public square.  As it stands, the people in control of the registry, DNS, can disappear anyone.

I have been wanting a tech person to maintain the back-end of this site for a long time. I haven’t found anyone reliable and capable in the same person. I think others might have the same issue.

Recently I gathered some names – or tried to – of people who understood WordPress… who really grasp it, not just who have tinkered with it.  I got some responses and I forwarded them to my aforementioned development savvy friend.  The idea is to form a small team who could be of help.

What if that were expanded and there could also be pay for belonging to the team: a Catholic Signal Corp?

 

¡Hagan lío!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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9 Responses to A “Catholic Signal Corps” – Thinking about a Catholic digital future and this blog

  1. Steven says:

    I’m a tradCath (currently, but not exclusively, of the SSPX variety) and I’ve been a computer programmer for over a decade, though not very heavily within web development. I’m willing to pitch in with this if you’re serious about it, though.

  2. haydn seeker says:

    Do this soon. As more and more backend development moves to cloud services (for really good economic reasons), these skills will become rarer than stonemasons. And the cloud providers are incredible, but if you think that Google, Amazon or Microsoft are going to be our friends when the moment comes, you’ve got another thing coming.

  3. Zephyrinus says:

    Excellent idea, dear Reverend Fr.

    You have my total support and encouragement.

    Even if a nominal “contribution fee” was requested from committed Catholic Bloggers, I feel sure it would be forthcoming.

    Watch this space.

    in Domino.

  4. JonPatrick says:

    I would be willing to help where I could. My background is as an applications developer mostly in Java and Perl but acquainted with web services such as Tomcat, Spring, etc. Not really a web developer as such.

    I’m thinking with the Ham Radio expertise in the group, it might be possible to set up communications links that bypass the Internet entirely and thus not be at the mercy of the DNSes.

    Also it would be nice if there were a Catholic alternative to Facebook for keeping in touch with each other without fear of being censored if one’s posts to not conform to the PC police.

  5. tjramone says:

    Father – I am in as well. My background is databases (Oracle, MySQL) and Perl, and more recently, Python and shell. Sorry I can’t help on the WordPress side.

    There really is a need here. Having a system in place that can allow Catholics to stay in contact is critical.

    Why don’t we build a social-oriented task management platform, where the Catholic Signal Core can communicate via the platform, and attract fellow Catholics? Why task management? This is a wonderful area for catechism. Like apps with bible-reading plans, there could be plans provided in the system for living the Catholic life.

    Would be happy to discuss this idea (or others) further – count me in for the CSC!!

  6. The Masked Chicken says:

    Well, if you are going to be a signal corps, you need a signaling system. That means we need a code system for either encryption or general communication – we need Catholic code talkers. Prime number encryption will be broken as soon as the first quantum computers come online. Not only do you need programmers, you need mathematicians.

    JonPatrick wrote:

    “I’m thinking with the Ham Radio expertise in the group, it might be possible to set up communications links that bypass the Internet entirely and thus not be at the mercy of the DNSes.”

    Yes, these sort of distributed networks can be set up, but they are easily blocked by signal jamming technology. What you need is an infrastructure that doesn’t look like an infrastructure. Who would suspect grandmothers of being tech gurus? You need to set up knitting circles that are really code bases. Think Hogan’s Heroes.

    The Chicken

  7. traditionalcatholicman says:

    @The Masked Chicken is correct that we need our own infrastructure that doesn’t look like an infrastructure. What’s the answer? I think we need to do what they did in the early days of the internet. Use an existing physical infrastructure but a fundamentally different usage of it. What would that look like? I’m not sure yet. But we don’t need different websites, we need different websites on a completely different internet….

  8. Discipula says:

    I’m more of a “make it pretty” sort of web developer with just enough WordPress knowledge to design and run a site, though I’ve never tried my hand at much more than just basics. I’ve taught myself html and css, and will someday tackle python. I have no idea how much help I could be to you.

    An indispensable WordPress plug-in has been WordFence (which can be found here https://www.wordfence.com/ ). It would send me an email whenever something needed my attention. It was like having my very own gate guard that was on duty, day and night. I’ve never been hacked, but they offer help in case of hacking that is easily found.

  9. Discipula says:

    Oh, by the by. You may want to check out this ( https://flocknote.com/ ). It seems to be rather useful for keeping a group informed and up to date. It’s mainly for sending messages, either text or email. Something like a modern day phone tree.

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