The Brights' Bulletin


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Issue #14
June 4, 2004

(Note that links in archived Bulletin issues may no longer be valid.)


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO WWW.THE-BRIGHTS.NET

It was June 4 just one year ago that we announced the go-live of the Brights’ Network’s Web site. The idea and aims of the network had been presented publicly a couple of months before, and we had used a paper-pencil registry for enrolling Brights. After we started to take the signups by computer, word of the movement spread rapidly across the Internet, helped along by two seminal articles about brights. The latest boost in our nation count (now 110) came when we registered a Bright from Turkmenistan.

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WEB REVISION KICKOFF

June 4 seems a good date for big announcements!  Hear Ye! Hear Ye! A superb Web Revision Task Team has been assembled and this week is moving into action to produce a new Brights’ Net site. Mike and Theo will head the team as Project Leader and Web Architect, joined by team members Dave, Seppo, Patrick, and two Kevins.  Avery, Larry, Peter, Trey, and Lisette have offered support in specialized arenas. The overall collaboration has considerable geographical diversity ( Australia, Canada, Sweden, UK and USA). The first phase of the redesign will focus more on revamping current functionality. Then they will work to incorporate features on an extensive wish list. We are excited about this major undertaking!

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SAYING “GOOD-BYE” TO SERVER PROBLEMS!

If you are reading this e-mail, then perhaps we can declare the worst of the recent tribulations to be behind us. This latest server move by our host began in mid-May. It affected the Brights’ Net Forum and E-mail service, as well as the Web site. We do appreciate the extra work put in by Kevin and the Humanists.Net support staff to cure the main problems we encountered.

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SPECIAL BULLETIN FOR PLANNING

The e-mail seeking your input on Brights’ Action priorities was delayed by the server situation. Its length prevents inclusion here, so it will follow separately. The message poses some tentative Brights “Action Arenas,” and Brights Central welcomes your input. As a teaser, ideas include: 1) tackling the problem that brights are viewed as not having morality, 2) the nurturing of young children in a naturalistic worldview, and 3) the confrontation of “faithism” in society (a confrontation similar to what happened in the U.S. confrontation with sexism, racism, and homophobia). If you care about these issues or have ideas of your own regarding priorities, please watch for this key opportunity to provide your input.

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“GOD’S PLACE IN THE EUROPEAN CHARTER” CAUSES CONCERN

" Europe is not a Judeo-Christian club," says the French foreign minister, opposing what some Poles, Italians, etc. want put into the preamble of the European Union's new constitution. The issue is raging over whether the most ambitious document in European Union history should include a reference to the continent’s “Christian heritage.”

The Catholic Church (among others) is pushing to include God in the first EU constitution. A very brief gloss of the Vatican position is at: <http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=29302>

You can use Google for a number of views of the problem. Use this search phrase, including the quotation marks  <“european union” “christian heritage”>

The Web portal to the European Union is in many languages at: <http://europa.eu.int>.

The Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe is found in many languages at: <http://europa.eu.int/futurum/constitution/index_en.htm>

An EU discussion forum on the topic is active at:

<http://europa.eu.int/comm/coreservices/forum/index.cfm?forum=Futurum&lang=en>

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BRIGHTS LOCAL CONSTITUENCIES (BLCS)

The Brights Local Constituencies continue to grow. There is an overall geographical listing of BLC locations at:

<http://www.the-brights.net/brights_local.htm>

NEW BLCs

UK, Jersey, Channel Islands: Reg / docrema@hotmail.com

USA, Metro Boston: Bill / WHD@pobox.com

USA, Tucson: Marv / TucsonBrights@yahoo.com

USA, Honolulu: Neil / buddhizt@aol.com

USA, Iowa: Brian / bsabel@iowasecularist.org

Canada, Quebec: Bernard / bernard@berclo.mailshell.com (more info at http://brightsquebec.berclo.info)

Individuals interested in being a BLC Leader should read leadership suggestions posted at:  <http://www.the-brights.net/blc_leaders.htm>

Then, if you would like to start a BLC, send us an e-mail giving specific permission to make public your first name, areas to be served, and e-mail address. Please put “BLC” in the subject line.

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MORE BOOKS BY BRIGHTS

The “Books by Brights” page has added several more works. Example titles: A Somewhat Sceptical Philosophy; Artificial Minds; and Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind. There is even a novel the atheist protagonist is dealing with a society dominated by theists). To read about these books go to:

<http://www.the-brights.net/brights_books.htm>

Brights who wish to list their own book can go to <http://www.the-brights.net/add_a_book.htm> for instructions. A work should be clearly related to the Brights’ movement. The title must be authored or co-authored by a Bright and be available for purchase.

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ICON FIELD IS FURTHER NARROWED

Several Brights, most who are graphics designers, have examined the 16 images (already trimmed down from 41) and commented on merits and shortcomings of each. (We have received a few interesting “improvement suggestions” too.) Objections centered mostly on branding issues, complexity [too many elements], or cultural connotations (New Age or religious). Removal of images that garnered multiple objections leaves a mere handful of “roughs” awaiting doses of ingenuity.

To see the questions asked and the narrowed icon set, go to <http://www.the-brights.net/icon_selection.htm>.  We plan to continue to read comments until June 9. If you wish to send your appraisal, e-mail to the-brights@the-brights.net and put in your subject line: ICON ADVICE.

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BRIGHTS MEETUPS

The commercial MeetUp.com operation continues to be used by Brights in numerous locations to arrange their monthly meetings. We have posted some commentary on the subject of how MeetUps can best serve the Brights’ Net. Persons anxious for their MeetUp to thrive and engage in more substantive Brights’ actions are urged to check out the general “Guidelines for MeetUp Leaders” posted at:

<http://www.the-brights.net/meetup_leaders.htm>

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HELP WANTED: BRIGHTS TO HELP WRITE A “NATURALISTIC ORIGIN STORY”

This request is from Frans ( Netherlands), who is concerned about violence against women from husbands, relatives, and society. He asks Brights to consider the religious “origin stories” that flourish in many cultures and dictate a superiority of men over women. These patriarchal “origin stories” are still unchallenged by a naturalistic origin story.

Frans asks: “Would anyone like to work together on a Origin Story for Brights?”

Contact him directly at e-mail: <fcowenb@mens2000.nl>

This got us thinking how wonderful it would be to have an illustrated story for youngsters to make available via the Brights’ site. (Paul & Mynga)

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TAILINGS

You can read all prior and current Bulletins and "Brighten Ops" in the archive at <http://www.the-brights.net/broadcastarchv2004-2.htm>

If you prefer to read the Bulletin on line at the above link, or not to receive future Bulletins, please reply to this e-mail by placing in the SUBJECT line the word UNSUBSCRIBE.

Why does the Bulletin use simple text? Many Brights around the world do not have the capability to receive e-mail in any other form. When we redo the Web site (our goal), we will add html capabilities and you can choose to receive the Bulletin as text or formatted with color, pictures, and so forth.

Brights Central

Co-Directors: Mynga Futrell and Paul Geisert

Webmaster: Kevin Schultz


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