The Brights' Bulletin


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Issue #39
July 31, 2006

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


Untitled Document BRIGHTS' BULLETIN #39 -- 2006 JULY 31

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INTRODUCING NEW INTERNET CAPACITIES FOR BRIGHTS

There's a new node for Brights to check out. You can visit it at www.brightsOnline.net. This new site is intended as a clean space to host various initiatives by Brights which need an internet presence. Anything from interesting creative projects to collaborative secularist campaigns might be hosted there. And originality will not be frowned upon!

The new site is the independent creative endeavor of Bob, a Bright in the U.K. (Please read Bob’s statement at the bottom of the home page concerning the site’s relationship to The Brights’ Net site.) His first two projects are likely to be of most interest to Brights who run their own websites. There is a BrightsOnline Webring and an aggregate blog called BrightsOnline Blogs. Both of these projects will encourage communication between diverse Brights' sites and very likely bring new signatories to www.the-brights.net.

A WEB-RING FOR BRIGHTS AND "BRIGHTNESS"
Any personal site run by a Bright (your blog or homepage, for example) can join the Webring, as can any site on the topic of civil rights of Brights, Brightness, naturalism, secularism, etc. Actually, any site of probable generic interest to Brights may join. For overview information and instructions on joining the Webring, visit www.brightsOnline.net/webring.

BLOGGING BY BRIGHTS
An aggregate blog pulls together the feeds from lots of different blogs. If you want your blog "syndicated" to the new aggregate blog at BrightsOnline.net/blogs, then email your RSS or Atom feed details to contact@brightsonline.net with "BLOG" in the subject line. (Or visit brightsOnline.net/blogs/help if the above doesn't mean very much to you!)

Feel free to offer further ideas, or to request hosting of projects in need of a web presence, by making contact@brightsOnline.net.

NOTE FROM BRIGHTS CENTRAL: The main motivation for the Brights’ endeavor was to awaken more people who have a naturalistic worldview to the merits of their outlook and to their civic situations. BC seeks to facilitate positive endeavors that nourish the former and improve upon the latter. Consequently, we hope that the new Webring and blogging capacities for Brights will foster movement in constructive directions. For example, we anticipate more sites that will focus on, contribute to, or align well with the civic aims and principles of the overall movement. (You can read those aims on the main page at www.the-brights.net and examine the nine principles at www.the-brights.net/vision/principles.html). If you have developed such a site already, you are encouraged to become part of the new Webring right away. Thanks!

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BRIGHTS CENTRAL (BC) REMAINS ON LOW POWER

Co-directors Paul and Mynga are at the moment in Scotland. They have been in various spots in Europe during July, with only sporadic Internet communications capability. The reduced activity situation will continue just a bit into August, at which time they return to California and several temporarily suspended actions will pick up once again.

The database continues to take in registrations of new Brights, and Webmaster Kevin - having returned from family vacation - has solved the problem of the new registration records not reaching BC. Each new registrant to The Brights’ Network has received the automated "welcome to the Brights" message but, due to the technical problem, one aspect has been absent from standard operations. BC customarily replies to comments and questions that so often accompany these new registrations. BC has not been able to do this since June 14, when the problem first arose (until now).

If you registered in the period from June 14 to July 22 and included a query or a message you wanted to express to BC, please email the comment itself to the-brights@the-brights.net (put REGISTRATION COMMENT in upper case in your subject line), and BC will reply in the next week or so.

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IN-BOX ITEM

From Martin in Oregon: "I'm reading Breaking the Spell. I've got an MBA and appreciate the marketing benefits of a positive name (brights) and a non-aggressive attitude toward religious people. I would like to ban religion, but I find it engrained in the fiber of my closest friends to a degree that would alienate them from me and prevent partnership of any kind. It is better not to go to war if the result is isolation. I think presenting a positive view of naturalism is far more valuable and persuasive for the masses. As individuals inquire about naturalism, the reasons for having a naturalist worldview can be explored and positively communicated."

Martin’s comment happens to be the first registration comment received after Kevin solved the technical problem. It is a perfect example of the type of information BC has missed receiving across the past few weeks. Hearing from new Brights supplies welcome energy boosts to those who are volunteering time to the Brights’ endeavor.

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A CHALLENGE

Quentin, a dedicated Bright, has pledged that he will, on every long journey that he makes, stick to the back of his car a sign that promotes the Brights. The only thing is that he needs at least five others to do likewise.

Please therefore see if you can join his pledge at: http://www.pledgebank.com/brightsign

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CO-DIRECTORS REPORT IN FROM EUROPE

During July we have been visiting some of Mary Shelley’s favorite spots and meeting Brights along the way. We did make one side trip to Brussels, thanks to an invitation from the International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organiztion (IHEYO). At last Bulletin’s report, we were in London (approaching the time to travel onward to Brussels), and should you be following our journey, you can now add pins into your mental map for Bath, England, and areas in and around Paris, Geneva, Milan, Padova, Este, Venice, Lucca, Pisa, Laverno, and Rome.

This very brief Bulletin is sent out from Scotland, where on Saturday we had a wonderful informal meeting with the Brights around Glasgow (lively discussion all around)! Those attending were a marvelous example of the diversity of people coming from many walks of life and points of view, but all sharing naturalistic perspectives on how the world works. That attribute alone would set them apart from fellow citizens and put them to great social and political disadvantage in the USA and so many other places (if not so much in Scotland). It would carry a clear danger in many spots around the world.

A more formal presentation is set for tonight in Edinburgh, thanks to the efforts of a local Bright, who arranged not only for both events, but also for our stays in homes of two Brights, both of whom have been most delightful hosts! (Scotland was not in our original planning, but we are so pleased that we added in that second side-trip at rather the last moment.)

After Edinburgh, we are London bound for a couple of meetings with activist Brights there and a look at just one more Mary Shelley-relevant spot. Then, it’s back to the USA.

Many thanks to the various local coordinators who arranged contacts in several places and also to those Brights who journeyed to a specific location to chat with us in person. Venetia gets the prize for the longest travels, and Sam for the lengthiest duration (it was nice having a personal tour of Paris backstreets). We hail the Romans for the food (you can’t beat the pizza eaten outdoors amidst a festive ambience).

Although we relished having added in all the Brights-related contacts to the Shelley venture, we will repeat here the reminder that the thematic trip itself was motivated by our personal interests and not paid for by The Brights’ Network.

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BRIGHTS FORUM AND BC

The Brights’ Net is entirely an Internet endeavor. Still, the trip to Europe has made possible some face-to-face contacts (and long conversations) that will surely prove beneficial as we move forward. Of particular note are contacts in Iceland with one of the five Forum administrators, and in Scotland with two very most active Forum facilitators. All three – along with other volunteer administrators and moderators - give great amounts of time to maintaining an online communications tool that Brights across the globe can use. Due to the recent person-to-person discussions, a better understanding of the interrelationship of BC and the Forum will be bearing fruit in the near future.

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AUTHORS AND READERS

Don’t forget, if you have a book in print that is closely related to the interests of Brights and available for sale via normal marketing channels, you can place your work on "Books by Brights". For more information, along with criteria for inclusion, see the bottom of the page for "Author Guidelines" at
http://www.the-brights.net/people/books/

Readers can use the URL just above to access the listing of books. Note that the very well-known authors who are Brights (e.g., Dawkins, Dennett, Pinker, Shermer) are not listed here since they are so easily found on Amazon. To purchase any of their books, please go to the relevant Brights’ page (http://www.the-brights.net/people/books/) and use the Amazon button there to type in the name of the author. When you purchase books - or other items offered by Amazon - this way, The Brights’ Net receives a small percent of the sales price, at no extra cost to you.

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TAILINGS

Definition and goals of the organization:
http://www.the-brights.net

Brights' Forum (open 24/7/365):
http://www.the-brights.net/forums

Archive of all prior Bulletins:
http://www.the-brights.net/movement/bulletin/archive.html

Link to Amazon.com (you pay normal amount and The Brights' Net gets a donation):
http://www.the-brights.net/people/books/

Brights' Shop (merchandise):
http://www.cafepress.com/brightsshop

Sustaining The Brights' Net:
http://www.the-brights.net/action/support

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BRIGHTS CENTRAL INFO

Co-Directors: Mynga Futrell and Paul Geisert:
the-brights@the-brights.net

Webmaster and Forum Consultant: Kevin Schultz:
webmaster@the-brights.net

CafePress Shopkeeper: Diane Reed:
bright-stuff@comcast.net

Adjunct Volunteers –
Web Architect: Theo Skye
BLC Coordinator: Tammy Richard


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