The Brights' Bulletin
June 30, 2007
(Note that links in archived Bulletin issues may no longer be valid.)
JULY 2007 BULLETIN
FORWARD THIS BULLETIN TO OTHERS
Viral Transmission! Just think - if thirty thousand Brights were to forward this bulletin to one person, The Brights’ Net would be overwhelmed with registrations. (Lovely idea!)
TWO BRIGHTS MEETUPS IN JOINT ENDEAVOR (USA)
The Chicago (Illinois) and Columbia (Missouri) BLCs are planning a joint BLC MeetUp. The event is set for July 28 at Chicago's Field Museum. Participants will view the museum’s new exhibit on Charles Darwin.
Chicago Brights can get more info at: http://civilbrights.net/chicago
Columbia Brights can get more info at: http://civilbrights.net/columbia
General information is at:
SIG-2 THE UNITED RELIGIONS INITIATIVE
BACKGROUND: The general project description is at:
SIG-2 is currently planning its first project and group discussions are now taking place in the SIG-2 forum. The first POLL is now active and SIG-2 members are invited to indicate their interest by voting.
If you have registered as a member of SIG-2 then you will be able to access this forum to observe, take part in the discussions or vote in the POLLs. If you are experiencing any difficulty in accessing this forum then e-mail email@example.com for assistance.
For general information on SIG-2 and/or registration see: http://www.the-brights.net/action/activities/organized/sigs/sig_two_moreinfo.html
Brights lapel pins are now just $5, postage included (to any nation). Engage in some viral transmissions of your own. Order pins at:
BRIGHTS’ SCHOOL CALENDAR
The Brights' academic calendar begins August 1, 2007 and goes through July 31, 2008. Each school calendar sells for USD$13.79 earning USD $1 for The Brights’ Net.
Already 135 Brights have purchased a copy, making this calendar the publisher’s “best seller” for this time of year. The next ranking calendar at Lulu.com was "He is Risen."
To view or purchase a calendar to give to students, teachers, or yourself, go to:
NEW POLLING SOFTWARE
We have long wanted to resume polling of the constituency but have been constrained by inadequate software (and insufficient time). With the recent purchase of a polling program, at least one set of limitations has been removed.
We intend to proceed. If you have professional knowledge of polling and would like to be involved in the planning and production of future polls, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put POLLING in the subject line.
To start with, Brights Central wants a very simple poll to inform Brights and others about the nature and composition of the constituency.
QUICK Q & A FOR TODAY
WHO IS A BRIGHT? / A bright is an individual with a naturalistic worldview, free of supernatural and mystical elements. (A “naturalistic worldview” puts forward no particulars with respect to individual beliefs. Thus, it is a global category that encompasses a diversity of people.)
WHAT IS THE ANTONYM OF THE NOUN, BRIGHT? / It is the noun, super. (Example: If Larry believes in extrasensory perception and certain supernatural forces emanating from crystals, then he would be appropriately categorized as a super, not a bright.)
WHAT IS THE BRIGHTS MOVEMENT? / The Brights movement is a civic justice endeavor, dedicated to the concept of a level playing field for both brights and supers.
ONE BRIGHT ASKS FOR EQUAL TREATMENT
A Bright who works for the federal government in Canada has informed Brights Central that she is choosing to contest, as a Bright, a point of Canadian law. She would like have available to her the same options that the religious have when it comes to the particular situation of interest. Explaining her support for the idea of equality and acceptance for a naturalistic point of view, she says:
“I thought that I should let you know that I am using the term ‘Bright’ to refer to myself in this legal battle against the restriction of the non-religious. My morality is no less stringent than that of someone who gets theirs from a book, and I don't think it's acceptable that a personal doctrine gets treated as being non-existent if it is not from a deity. Will keep you up to date as the issue goes along.”
“HINT HINT” — NO MORE!
Just prior to issuing last month’s bulletin, BC was alerted to an article in "Der Tagesspiegel" but found that Google’s German to English translation could not handle it well. In the rush to prepare the June bulletin, all too casually, we provided the link and wrote: “We may get assistance from a friendly volunteer (hint hint).”
Mistake! We received simply superb translations – twelve of them! We regret our lack of forethought. We should have thought ahead to the likelihood of that casual comment arousing too large a response. (Thanks, and sincere apologies, to all who sent us the splendid translations!)
GERMANY BRIEFLY TOP NATION IN REGISTERING BRIGHTS
Two German articles, including the one mentioned above, resulted in hundreds of registrations from Germany.
REGISTRATIONS SHOW BRIGHTS OF MANY STRIPES!
As these registration comments make clear, the Brights movement reaches a very broad array of people with varied cultural and religious backgrounds:
John (nation withheld): “[I am a] former Roman Catholic priest ... A bright perspective is very attractive to (those) searching for a new and pragmatic perspective on life. Suggestion: Keep it low key and just let it happen.”
Kaustubh (IL, USA): “I am a Hindu atheist. So by this it means that I had to work harder to remove delusion of million Gods of Hinduism as compared to lone God of Old Testament.”
Mohammed (Ireland): “I am an ex-Muslim, a former medical doctor and a current IT trainer who can see the beauty and majesty of everything in IT’s being and in the beauty of the science that studied how it became.”
Ian (Singapore): “I used to be a Scientologist but I'm all Bright now! :-) ”
A BRIGHT IS A BRIGHT IS A BRIGHT (APOLOGIES TO GERTRUDE STEIN)
When properly labeling any diverse constituency of individuals, it is important to identify the shared attribute(s) of all members. For the Brights’ constituency, the common attribute is that all the individuals have declared: “I have a naturalistic worldview (free of supernatural/mystical elements).”
Thus, this constituency consists entirely of people who have a naturalistic worldview. They are Brights, one and all.
The Co-directors’ essay from which the above is excerpted is at:
NEW REGISTRANT REFLECTS AND RECOMMENDS
Oliver (CA, USA): “I've thought very seriously about registering before, but didn't out of one or more concerns; that I don't exactly remember. This time, after watching Dan Dennett's interview w/ Bill Moyers on Charlie Rose online, I was ‘ready.’ I felt as strongly all along, but I had to feel right about the ‘spirit’ of the enterprise--especially this one. What struck me this time was that the diplomacy, civility and patience with which Dennett nevertheless pursued and starkly challenged every issue... It wasn't phony. I want my feelings in public view and that's where I want to be seen as coming from.”
FOLLOW-UP BY CO-DIRECTOR PAUL: I agree that Dennett is superb. This is a “must see” event. There is one advert at the start, and then a 50-minute discussion. One correction, though: The noun bright was never meant to be a “nice” way of saying “atheist”. See the exchange at:
If you view and like the interview that Oliver mentions, then how about telling someone else?
PAID BLC COORDINATOR POSITION
Will Morris, an Enthusiastic Bright http://www.the-brights.net/people/enthusiastic/index4.html is the current Brights Local Constituency Coordinator. The position provides a token stipend of $75/month.
The BLC Coordinator position has three responsibilities:
1. Gather information on the current and ongoing status of all BLCs
2. Keep Brights Central (BC) informed on BLC activity and progress
3. Serve as a resource to BLCs groups which wish to pursue the goals and purposes of the Brights movement
Overview information on BLCs is at:
A complete listing of Brights’ MeetUps is at: http://www.meetup.com/search/?keywords=brights&locationPickerRef=0&dbCo=us&dbOutsideUsLink=&country=us&zip=&go.x=0&go.y=0&go=GO
You can currently contact Will through Brights Central, at email@example.com
PURCHASES ARE PAYING COORDINATOR’S STIPEND
Any items you buy through the Brights’ Net’s link to Amazon.com costs you no more, and the Brights get almost 6% of the sale! During May, the Brights’ Net received from U.S Amazon.com over $84 and U.K. 5.31 GBP. That will pay Will’s stipend for June!
If you buy anything (not just books) from Amazon.com in the U.S. or U.K., please do it through the Brights. As you know, there are no registration fees at The Brights, and this is a painless way to help.
The US and UK Brights use separate links: http://www.the-brights.net/action/support/#amazon/
TAG LINE BRAINSTORMING
BC is looking for a very short and heartening “tag line” that is catchy and which accurately represents the civic thrust of the organization. A tagline is: A statement or motto that succinctly defines or represents an organization’s mission. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagline
And your suggestion is? _______________________________
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and put TAGLINE in the subject line.
THANK GOODNESS FOR PETE STARK (USA)
Peebles Squire, regular columnist, presents a fine short article on Congressman Pete Stark’s forthright statement about his naturalistic outlook and ends it with an outstanding overview of the Brights.
The Secular Coalition for America put forth the effort (and a reward) to find Pete. http://www.secular.org/ You can support the SCA by going to: http://www.the-brights.net/action/activities/organized/sigs/sig_one.html
FLOW OF INFORMATION STILL HAMPERED
Co-director Mynga is mostly out of action this month. She is helping her sister in Florida who is under home hospice. (The Brights’ Net is based in Sacramento, California. Co-director Paul is in contact.)
REFERENCE GUIDE TO PERSONNEL AND OTHER BRIGHTS INFORMATION
All previous Bulletins may be found in the right column of the home page: www.the-brights.net
Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell
A bright is a person with a naturalistic worldview