Minneapolis: Catholics and the Openness Revolution

I have participated at the 2013 UST Law Journal Symposium in Minneapolis, with a paper on the relationships between p2p/Open{standards, software, education, manufacturing…} and Catholic Social Doctrine. The paper has been published in the 2013 issue of the Journal and from May 2014 is available online on the School website, titled Catholic Social Doctrine And the Openness Revolution: Natural Travel Companions?

These are the slides of my talk at the Symposium, which anticipated and summarized the paper:

(To know more on this topic, you may also want to read Free Software’s surprising sympathy with Catholic doctrine (2005) and the Eleutheros Manifesto (2006)).

The Catholic Church in the age of Digital Formats

Before the Symposium, I had also lead an informal roundtable (see here for details) another talk on the Catholic Church in the age of digital formats, with this abstract and using the slides at the bottom of the page:

The nature of our age demands that the Catholic Church produces documents, and communicates, digitally, more and more every year. So far, however, very little attention has been paid to whether the usual, mainstream tools that many others already use are, indeed, technically suitable for the Church. Or if mainstream legal formulas and licenses are the most effective ones. For example, if the official words of the Church are meant to be forever, does it make sense to convey them through files or digital channels that may become unusable in just a few years? If they are meant to reach everybody, shouldn’t they be accessible from every computer?

How will Catholics of 2100 be sure that an Encyclical or other similar documents, only available to them in digital form, are exactly the same words that came out of the Vatican one century earlier? The meeting explains why this is an ethical problem, NOT a technical problem that could be delegated to software professionals and forgotten, and suggests some practical ways to deal with it.