Over at Daniel Drezner some hints in the Chicago Tribune that my guide to the Papal election (Greeley's White Smoke - see below) needs updating for the age of the internet - not that it does badly for a tenyear old book - it contains emails. I love the fact that it is the University of Chicago that employs this gentleman seeing as White Smoke is heavily Chicago influenced
In days gone by, the General Congregation would have provided a first opportunity for cardinals from far-flung places to meet and learn about each other's positions on various issues.
But in the age of jet travel and electronic communications, all the cardinals already have met at least once and are likely to be somewhat familiar with each other's reputations and policies, decreasing the likelihood that a dark horse candidate would emerge, as was the case when John Paul II was chosen.
Some cardinals have Web sites, especially those who head dioceses, on which they post their pictures, writings and biographies, making it easy for cardinals to read about each other.
One quick thought shared with Dan, now that we know Cardinals have webistes does any one know if there is a blogging Cardinal or for that matter a blogging bishop of any denomination?
Another quick thought is that the book completely missed the mobile phone revolution. I suspect Mobile Phones will be streng verboten during the conclave but I get a kick out of imagining one ring in the middle of it and about 20 cardinals desperately reaching under their robes to find their phone...