Brights’ Central Policy
As Regards Statements and Publications
On Speaking Out as Brights
Spread the word about the Brights' endeavor, either as an individual or in collaboration with others. As you do these things, though, please stay attuned to and aligned with The Brights’ Net’s communication guidelines, which are a reminder to all Brights neither to presume nor assert that your own ideas represent those of other Brights, who may not share your viewpoints. Brights speak for themselves as individuals, and not for other Brights or for the constituency of The Brights' Network.
A. The Brights’ Net is a constituency of individuals.
Each Bright’s worldview is free of supernatural and mystical elements. Beyond that accord, this Internet constituency evidences considerable diversity of outlook. Under the umbrella of their naturalistic worldview, every Bright has her/his own viewpoints and beliefs running the gamut on many issues.
A Bright cannot presume that other Brights would necessarily share his/her stance. Thus, it is not appropriate for individuals or groups of Brights to claim to speak for other Brights, or for The Brights’ Net (i.e., to speak as if their views are those of others).
- When Brights speak out publicly, they are speaking for themselves as individuals, and not for other Brights or for the Brights’ constituency as a whole (this principle applies to the Co-Directors as well, on any matter for which they lack empirical substantiation [See B, below]).
- When Brights collaborate to make combined public statements or produce joint products, they are speaking for the particular collaboration, and not for the Brights’ constituency as a whole.
Individuals or groups of Brights will certainly offer their views as Brights but in doing so, they do not speak for the constituency of The Brights' Net or express ideas representative of other Brights.
B. The Brights’ Net is also an organized endeavor with distinct aims.
As such, The Brights’ Net can poll a given body of Brights, and perhaps all Brights, and report that “N number of Brights state X on issue Y.” Thus, at times, with empirical back up, The Brights’ Net will take a public stand on behalf of the designated constituency.
The Co-Directors at The Brights’ Net hub are positioned to suggest ideas for constituents’ consideration, accept and consider feedback from Brights, poll Brights, and communicate results. They can pursue actions aligned with the definition, goals and principles, including establishing procedures to promote efficient operations and educating and speaking to the public and the media regarding the overall movement. However, The Brights’ Net will limit its public representation of Brights, groups of Brights, or all Brights to matters that clearly impinge on public understanding of the Brights’ movement – conveying its vision, coordination and operations, and making statements which are substantiated by information obtained from communications with active constituents.
Specifics (Click the link to read further about any item)
- Brights should freely speak as Brights but as they do, they must neither assert nor suggest that their views are representative of other Brights or that they are speaking for the constituency at large.
- An individual or group undertaking actions on behalf of the constituency should endeavor to produce material in alignment with what the Brights’ endeavor stands for before attributing any indication of Brights’ provenance to a statement or position or other product.
- Whenever a collaboration product or statement is finalized (to be distributed to others, seen by an intended audience, etc.), it should evidence at least one public author who is a member of the Brights’ constituency and inclusion of appropriate contact information
[A Brights’ Forum product should provide e-mail contact(s) for the author/co-authors, carry a publication/posting date and, if likely to be edited, a version number as well. Ideally these products/versions are archived within the Forum itself, even if formally published elsewhere.)]
- The ascription of authorship/endorsement should name the set of co-signatories or, at minimum, be clear about who (beyond the authors) gives approval to the document or product (i.e., there should unambiguous information in terms of how many Brights are authorizing the material).
- Only when products evince full accord with this general communications policy will authors and collaborators be equipped to look to The Brights’ Net hub for assistance in speaking more broadly (e.g., garnering support from additional constituents, promoting from the Web site)
The Brights' Net Communications Policy
"Speaking Out As Brights"— Version 1.0 (12/04)