The Efficient Cause of Catholic Phoenix
A confluence of efficient causes makes Catholic Phoenix possible. The organizer rounds up contributors and assigns them days for posting. The contributors then sit themselves down, write the posts, and send them off for formatting. The format technician makes sure that all the pictures are in place, the block quotes look right, and the links to other pages are in fact connected to other pages—stuff like that. The administrator clicks the button that publishes the posts and oversees the comments from new commentators to make sure that spam isn’t trickling through and that nothing too nasty isn’t being written.
It’s the work of a large group, and though the site is maintained and overseen by either one or few at a time, the site is neither a monarchical nor an oligarchical thing. It’s a republic of letters: res publica litterarum. Each contributor is free to speak his or her mind within this public forum.
If you find yourself in disagreement with a post, bear in mind that you’re disagreeing with an author in particular, not the site as a whole. And while you’re bearing things in mind, think about this: there are such things as friendly disagreements. That is to say:
- Friends can disagree among themselves (though all here at Catholic Phoenix are friends, not all think exactly like).
- Disagreements between you, gracious reader, and our contributors needn’t be anything other than amicable. Don’t like what you’re reading? Think it’s goofy? Say so. But in a civil manner.
A Word or Two about the Cycle of Publishing
As mentioned above, the organizer tries to slip each contributor into a slot, so that there’s a regular cycle of fresh thoughts, novel witticisms, and authors recovered from their last round of lashing in the comm box and ready to be lambasted again. (Believe it or not, not all commentators heed the call to civic friendship within this republic of letters.)
Ideally, each contributor submits new work once every two weeks. If you, faithful reader, were to check in regularly, you would be met by at least one new viewpoint each day. In reality, human nature and the vicissitudes of practical existence keep the contributors from supplying fresh verbiage according to schedule. Who can blame us? We are, after all, volunteers in this great campaign of entertainment, enlightenment, and catechetical enterprise.