The Brights' Bulletin


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Issue #46
February 28, 2007

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


MARCH 2007 Bulletin

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POLL RESULTS (BULLETIN FORMAT)

In the poll on the format of the Bulletin, 35.5% of the 540 respondents selected "whatever is easiest for Brights Central." Second largest (30%) was the wish that BC "email the entire Bulletin."

As it happens, emailing the entire Bulletin is the easiest thing to do! Consequently, here it is. (BC posts it to the Web the same day.)

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A THOUSAND MORE BRIGHTS!

In January, the Bulletin reported that Olov (Sweden) became the 27,000th person to register into the international constituency of Brights. The count reached 28,000 this month when Ryan (New Jersey, USA) added himself to the constituency!

What a delight to see a boost of one thousand in just one month! Now is a great time to accelerate this recent growth spurt. We are nearing the 30,000 point!

Please, do your part to spread word of the Brights movement. Simply invite someone to check out the website. All who visit will at least learn about the movement’s civic aims. Some will see themselves as fitting the definition, and perhaps then register (as Brights).

Peruse available options at:
http://www.the-brights.net/action/activities/individual/

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ANOTHER STAFF MEMBER ADDED

In March, Elaine Friedman will take on the title of "Education Specialist" and draw on her prior experiences, research and editing skills, and considerable enthusiasm to undertake some challenges for The Brights’ Network.

She won’t be changing her lifestyle on the nominal compensation ($75 for spending 10 hours or so a month), but she will bring an experienced educator’s eye to the Brights’ endeavor. She will probably start by scrutinizing how to enhance aspects of the website. Brights Central is setting up an email account soon, so that you will be able to contact Elaine directly.

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FRIENDLY ATHEIST INTERVIEWS BOTH CO-DIRECTORS

Hemant Mehta, author of "I Sold My Soul on E-Bay," combined interviews with Mynga and with Paul into a single posting on his "Friendly Atheist" blog. You can read the results at:
http://friendlyatheist.com/2007/02/18/interview-with-co-directors-of-the-brights-net/#more-371

Hemant, who chairs the Secular Student Alliance Board of Directors, is an Enthusiastic Bright.
http://www.the-brights.net/people/enthusiastic/index2.html

You can read more about Hemant at:
http://friendlyatheist.com/about-hemant/

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MORALITY PROJECT REPORT

Received from Ruban, Team Leader: "A first draft of the Declaration has been written, and a number of empirical studies have been compiled. The next step is to fine-tune the document."

The fine-tuning is to take place within the constituency of Brights, and then begins a process of authentication. Information on this project is at:
http://www.the-brights.net/action/activities/organized/arenas/1/

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BRIGHTSONLINE WEBSITE – NEW ACTION OPTION

Bob’s website has added a new feature known as "Doing it by the letter!" The general idea of this action initiative is to get Brights' perspectives heard in national newspapers and online news sources.

If you join this project, please note that you will be entering your information into a NEW database that is entirely outside of the parameters and stipulations of The Brights’ Network.
http://www.brightsonline.net/bytheletter/index.htm

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BRIGHTEN OP: NEXT PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN (USA)

IMPORTANT NOTE: A nonprofit organization cannot by law recommend support or rejection of any candidates. But Brights can speak on issues!

The 2008 race for the presidency of the United States promises to be a long, long campaign. It has already begun. The Brights’ Net encourages individuals in the constituency to bring to the surface information of import to the movement. Let’s get going!

SITUATION: At a caucus in Iowa (or a town meeting in New Hampshire, or a fund raiser in California, etc.), a Bright has the opportunity to ask a candidate just ONE question. Okay, what will that question be?

ACTION: Take a good hard look at the three aims on the home page at
http://www.the-brights.net
Focus your mind on the civic status of persons holding a naturalistic worldview. Then craft a "ONE CHANCE TO ASK" question that, when answered, would make a politician’s stance quite clear in the public eye. Phrase the complete question (including prelude to it) so that it is applicable to ANY candidate. Be concise!

Then, email text of your single question (or your best questions) to the-brights@the-brights.net and put QUESTIONS in uppercase in your subject line. Brights Central will compile a set of questions to post in the online TOOLBOX.

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BRIGHTS MERCHANDISE UPDATES

Whatever their purchases (books, DVDs, toys), thanks go to all Brights who have remembered to place their Amazon orders through the website link. Before you buy a book (or anything else), click
http://www.the-brights.net/action/support/index.html#financial

Last month’s addition of the Amazon.uk link has made a noticeable difference! (May we infer that a bunch of Brights in the UK like to read?)

February’s sales of Calendar 2007 greatly exceeded the 50 or so predicted. This item is "quite obviously late, but not too late" in that you can still preview and purchase your copy and start off what promises to become a striking "calendar collection". (The Brights’ Network nets a small royalty of $1 for every calendar sold.) Use PayPal or credit card at:
http://www.lulu.com/content/647785/

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SIG-2 IS ACTIVE - JOIN NOW!

The recently formed Brights Action-URI SIG (Special Initiative Group) offers an opportunity for individual Brights who have serious concerns about religion-motivated violence to acknowledge and focus on the issue.

An existing global organization, The United Religions Initiative (URI), is already working on ways to reduce such violence. The URI was formed earlier in an attempt to bring different religions together, and SIG-2 will be exploring liaison with that endeavor.

Some SIG members may wish simply to endorse the undertaking, while others may be interested in playing an active role. Both are welcome to register! No fees or dues. Details are at:
http://www.the-brights.net/action/activities/organized/sigs/sig_two_moreinfo.html

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REGISTRATION COMMENTS

Dan (Germany): "It's an immense relief, consolation and inspiration to be able to belong to this community, which is, I'd like to believe, what ‘The Brights’ is – even if it is a largely virtual and dispersed community."

Chloe (RI, U.S.): "Found a card for the-brights.net stuck in "The Quotable Atheist" at Barnes & Nobel."

Ben (WA, U.S) "Well done, humans. I like the site and would definitely self apply the bright title. It’s these kinds of movements that will bring the movement to the public, and the more that people see its ok not to believe their specific cultural fantasies, the more they will stop believing."

Deborah (U.S.): "Finally -- a place where I express myself without being given the titles ‘sinful atheist’ (there's nothing sinful about it) or even ‘antichrist’."

Philip: "Thank you. I will do my best to forward the ideals you have set out in a way appropriate to the tenets you proscribe. You exude a calm, contemplative and inquisitive nature that this atheist finds refreshing. Oh, and a sense of humor too!"

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FORUM HAS DISCUSSIONS IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES

The Brights’ Net makes available forums where Brights can hold discussions in German, Scandinavian languages, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. You must register to use the Brights’ Net Forum. (One may read without registration, but cannot participate until registered.) Interested? Visit:
http://www.the-brights.net/forums/forum/index.php
Then, move down the page to "International Language Discussion"

Notice: The entire website can be machine-translated into any of eight languages.
http://www.the-brights.net/community/#translation/

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LINGUISTIC CHALLENGES

You can add your individual support to the Brights movement just through your everyday interactions. Here are a few ways to employ "bright-speak" and show some independence from dominant "religion-speak":

1) Make a positive statement! (You need not rely on terms that define people by negation (e.g., nonbeliever, irreligious, nonreligious). You can say "people who have a naturalistic worldview" as often as it applies. This broadly unifying phrase is inclusive of a wide array of persons. It’s 100% religion-free, too!

2) Practice using "brights of many stripes" to speak of the assorted varieties of people who are free of supernatural. That turn of phrase most surely describes the gigantic diversity represented within the Brights movement. It’s downright poetic, too! It also fits when you want to be inclusive of several self-identity labels, rather than listing a string of them one by one (atheists, humanists, agnostics, rationalists, freethinkers, skeptics, etc.)

3) When you are contrasting worldviews that [do not] and [do] incorporate supernatural elements, try out the "brights and supers" lingo. This duality is clean and crisp, nothing wooly about the distinction. It’s a handy expression.

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BRIGHTS' WEBSITE HAS MOVED

The migration of the website to DreamHost took place this month. The new commercial service offers - free - the higher level of hosting services required. (Savings to The Brights' Net is over US$50/month.) DreamHost is on a six-month trial. Let Webmaster Kevin know if you encounter any problems.

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MONTY PYTHON’S "ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE"

BC has sought - and some other Brights have also, but with no success so far - to learn the method by which The Brights’ Net might obtain rights to put onto the website the Monty Python song, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

Is there someone out there who can help find out HOW to go about making a request to legally use it? Provide any relevant information to the-brights@the-brights.net and put SONG in your email subject line.

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REFERENCE GUIDE TO PERSONNEL AND OTHER BRIGHTS INFORMATION

http://www.the-brights.net/reference_guide.html

Bright Regards
Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell

Co-Directors of www.The-Brights.Net
A bright is a person with a naturalistic worldview.


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