The Brights' Bulletin
February 29, 2008
(Note that links in archived Bulletin issues may no longer be valid.)
MARCH 2008 BULLETIN
NEARING 40,000 BRIGHTS
How do we grow? As more Brights raise awareness, change happens! 40,000 is getting close. Next ahead, 50,000? And, why not!
Brights expand the constituency by taking advantage of opportunities as they come along. You can help by mentioning the movement; identifying as a Bright; constructively expressing your naturalistic worldview; informing others about the website. None of these actions involve asking others to be/become Brights (no proselytizing, please). With straightforward information, anyone who IS a bright (by the definition) will be able to take notice and, if interested, then register into the constituency as a Bright in the movement.
Here are some more suggestions of how to help out (from the website):
WORD IS GETTING AROUND!
The registration form asks how each new registrant has learned of the Brights.
Ryan ( Slovak Republic) says he heard of the Brights “by word of mouth in a pub in Slovakia”
Hinri (the Netherlands), told how he first heard: “A colleague had it in his e-signature.” [E-signatures are something we can all at least ponder using]
Parameswaran and Adarsh (both in India) found the Brights “through a magazine named MALAYALAM which is in a language called malayalam used in Kerala, a state in India” And how do we say “bright” in Malayalam?
A FINNISH DILEMMA / AN ENGLISH ASSIST
Eerik (Finland) remarks: “My brother and I are wondering how to translate 'bright' into finnish; we were thinking about 'vïlkky', but we were also thinking of just calling ourselves 'bright', even though it's not finnish.”
From Brights Central: Maybe it will eventually become finnish? ;-)
Finns will need to work out how they call themselves. (Alphabets, pronunciations, etc. are hurdles to a term that is coined in one language gaining international usage.) Still, the more the term ‘bright’ is used globally as a civic self-identity, the more its UMBRELLA MEANING can take hold around the world. Brights can better bring forward the broad-spectrum naturalistic (free of supernatural/mystical) worldview idea. It distinguishes the brights from the supers in a useful way.
Perhaps English speakers can help most by understanding the value of adhering to the NOUN usage, at least until more people catch on to the new meaning. Any Finns thinking of calling themselves ‘bright’ are better off calling themselves ‘brights’ instead. (Each person is one bright). That will move things along in the useful direction.
ELECTION SEASON ACTIONS ( USA)
In the United States, the election season is hot! Citizens need to be speaking out. Here are two key issues on which Americans can do just that. If you approve the described action, then act this month! Make your voice heard now!
CALL ATTENTION TO A KEY ISSUE (A BRIGHTS’ NET ACTION)
Church/state separation is important to a great many Brights. Are you one of them? If so, then are you concerned that politicians are NOT speaking about this issue? Here’s a chance to strengthen awareness of the Brights movement and simultaneously express concern about “what has happened to church state separation in recent years.” WATCH YOUR IN- BOX next week for a “BrightenOp” (action opportunity) that will specify details. Notice its subject line. The email from The Brights’ Net will say: “KNOCK-KNOCK – ACT NOW!”
CALL FOR A PRESIDENTIAL SCIENCE DEBATE – 2008 (ENTHUSIASTIC BRIGHT RECOMMENDS)
Nobel Laureate and Enthusiastic Bright Sheldon Glashow has already “signed on,” and so have many U.S. organizations, academic and government leaders, and leading scientists. Read the call to action at:
PEW FORUM DATA ON THE U.S. RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE
The Pew Forum study on the “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey” is based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older. This extensive survey on “Religion & Public Life” details the religious affiliation of the American public. The online section includes dynamic tools that complement the full report. http://religions.pewforum.org
Caveat: Don’t confuse the term “Unaffiliated” with those who have a naturalistic worldview. Unaffiliated are also people who believe in God but are not affiliated with a religion. Gallup surveys in 1996 showed 4 percent to 6 percent of Americans say they don't believe in a higher power.
‘BRIGHTENING’ IN BRITAIN!
Richard ( UK): “I think this movement is fantastic. What a wonderful way to enjoy life and open minds to the beauty of the universe untainted by the supernatural. I do believe the ‘Brightening’ (to coin a word) may be remembered as pivotal to world development in the same way the enlightenment is remembered today!”
Mikki ( UK): “What made me sign up to become a Bright is it is made of a growing worldwide consensus. I hope this consensus ensures no matter what damage has already been done there is real hope for all people to understand the world they live in without prejudice.”
YOU MAY NOT BE AS ALONE AS YOU THINK!
Jacky ( Tennessee, USA) had this registration comment: “Where have you guys been all of my hellish (pun intended) life here in the Bible belt?!?!”
Co-director Paul wrote to her: “It may surprise you that there are 126 registered Brights within a 50-mile radius of your zip code.”
Brights in similar regions are sometimes in sufficiently close proximity to permit an in-person meeting. They just haven’t met each other...yet.
BRIGHTS’ LOCAL GROUPS
Brights Central would like to warmly welcome our newest Bright constituency located at the Phillips Exeter Academy, one of the finest secondary schools in the U.S.
Brights across the world can meet with one another online or in local groups. If anyone else has any interest in starting his/her own Bright constituency and would like some help doing so, please send emails to Will, at email@example.com
THE BRIGHTS’ NET FACEBOOK
Easy access to friends, networks, videos, and much more. Open 24 hours a day. Brights' FaceBook accounts have grown to 738 fans. Visit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/TheBrights/6447182402
NO TIME SOON
Ruan ( Saudi Arabia): “Please start a dating section; I would love to meet female brights.”
LESSONS LEARNED BY PERUSING BRIGHTS SITE
Erin ( New Hampshire, USA) registered with the comment: "I'm so excited that there's another term for atheists... "
Co-director Paul replied with the customary “Welcome to the Brights” and “Thanks for the comments,” but his message added some points of clarification and helpful distinctions between Brights and atheists.
Erin replied: “Thank you for your reply. I joined the website before a deeper reading of it and the articles written by Dennett, Dawkins, et al. on the proper usage of "Bright". After joining, I pored over the website and realized that I didn't fully understand "Bright". Now that I have a proper understanding on its usage and its meaning, I'll make sure that I use it correctly and clarify its meaning to people who may have the same superficial understanding of it that I had a few hours ago.”
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NO- COST ROUTE TO “DONATING”
AN AMAZING DONOR
Thomas (USA) is The Brights’ Net’s number one “Amazon Contributor” - at no cost to him! For business reasons, he routinely purchases books that are very expensive (the last book was $365). He had consistently purchased from Amazon.com, too. Thomas recently became a dedicated donor to this movement when he changed his PATHWAY to Amazon. Rather than going directly to Amazon’s site, now he goes through the link at the Brights’ website. Each time he purchases, The Brights’ Net receives a commission. When you think AMAZON think BRIGHTS!
A WELCOME CHANGE
Has Amazon.com taken notice of Brights? Who knows?! But, it has upgraded the commission from “6% and up” to “7% and up.” That’s an important change.
Here are the earnings from Amazon.com for the last two months: January $148; February to date: $243. The earnings total for 2007: $1325 – not a trivial amount! (The final quarter 2007 commission from Amazon.UK was GBP40. So far in 2008, is already GBP26! That amount is directed to the UK Brights.
You can click on an Amazon icon at:
PSSST – PASS THE WORD
Here are some additional strategies related to Amazon.com:
ALREADY AN AMAZON SHOPPER?
There’s another way to proceed. You can copy this URL, and put it where you can easily access it:
DO YOU HAVE FRIENDS? ;-)
Imbed the preceding URL in an email, and send it to your Amazon-shopping friends.
DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE?
Place this piece of code on your website. It produces a standard Amazon Search Box. Anyone who uses that search box to purchase from Amazon will be donating to the Brights' movement.
<iframe src="http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?t=thebrighnet-20&o=1&p=20&l=qs1&f=ifr" width="120" height="90" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
GOT KIDS? U.S. ( AND ARE THEY THINKING OF SUMMER CAMP?)
Camp Quest, the first summer camp in North America aimed specifically at youngsters from freethinking families, offers fun experiences, educational programs, and friendship opportunities. Children of Brights are welcome. This summer will see six Camp Quest programs operating:
Camp Quest Smoky Mountains ( Tennessee): June 1-8 (Campers ages, 8-17)
Camp Quest Ohio: June 21-28 (Campers, ages 8-17)
Camp Quest Minnesota: July 27-August 2 (Campers, ages 8-17)
Camp Quest Ontario: TBA (Campers, ages 7-16)
Camp Quest Michigan: TBA (Family Camp)
Camp Quest West: July 13-19 (Campers, ages 7-17; also a Family Camp and a Teen Adventure Camp)
Learn more by going to the www.camp-quest.org site and clicking on each camp location.
ENTHUSIASTIC BRIGHT’S UNIVERSITY TOUR SCHEDULE ( USA)
Enthusiastic Bright Richard Dawkins will be lecturing at a series of campus events discussing his book “The God Delusion” and the state of science education. The appearances are hosted and organized by various local and national organizations. All events are free, but tickets and pre-registration are required at many of the venues. Full information is at: http://www.secularstudents.org/node/1978
THE HEARTBREAK OF “HELL-BOUND” KIDS
Aurora ( UK): “My 7 yr old thinks he is going to hell, I need to clarify my world view to give his some order and confidence to express his views to his peers.”
Do you have some concrete and constructive recommendations for Aurora (and for parents like her)? There may be specific strategies that have served you well, or useful books/resources. If you have suggestions for beneficial approaches or steps to take, email specifics to firstname.lastname@example.org and include on the subject line “ AURORA.”
BOOK BY A BRIGHT
“Spirituality Without God: A Radical Humanistic Approach to Spiritual Life” by Moller De La Rouviere. Iconoclastic approach to spiritual unfolding; explores the potential in us for truly self-transcendent, humane living.
All other books by Brights: http://www.the-brights.net/people/books/
NEED: WIKI EDITOR FOR A ONE-TIME SHOT
The Brights' Net needs a volunteer who is competent with Wikipedia to edit a portion of The Brights' Net page there, removing material that has been added to an otherwise fairly OK description.
At the bottom of the page is a table of information that lists the Brights movement categorically under “irreligion,” a term immensely unsuitable as an overall characterization of this movement. It is clear that this entire set of inserted information has no point being on the Wikipedia page. It distorts the endeavor, and it undermines proper understanding of the movement.
If you are competent with Wiki, please delete the table at:
This is a request for volunteer(s) to work with our specific polling program. BC’s interests are very simple: Help Wanted: one or more individuals who have knowledge related to developing polls (which are very simple) using the program, "New ChumpSoft Delux/" Email us at email@example.com and put POLLSTER in the subject line.
The morality project is Action Arena #1. Read about it at: http://www.the-brights.net/action/activities/organized/arenas/1
Team leader Ruban reports: “I am pleased to report that we can now mark Statement A-C as VERIFIED. There is only Statement D left to substantiate for the Morality Declaration.”
As with the other Statements, we have made amendments, deleted some studies that turned out to be irrelevant or presented only minimal evidence, as well as evaluated new studies that have recently appeared in the literature. The team is examining each assertion’s empirical base, and finding “D” to be the toughest to uphold.
COMING – NEW ACTION SIGS
There will be further opportunities for Brights to take an individual position in these coming “Special Initiative Groups:
* SEPARATING RELIGION & GOVERNMENT
* SCIENTIFIC ENTERPRISE & SCIENCE EDUCATION
* RELIGION IN CULTURAL & SUPERNATURAL TERMS
REFERENCE GUIDE TO BRIGHTS INFORMATION
All the Bulletins, including this one, may be found via the link in the right column of the home page at www.the-brights.net
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To advance the civic aims and principles of the movement.
Bright Regards from Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell
Co-Directors of The Brights' Net