The Brights' Bulletin
November 30, 2009
(Note that links in archived Bulletin issues may no longer be valid.)
BRIGHTS' BULLETIN -- DECEMBER 2009
New Home Page Links Available
Thanks to suggestions from constituents, we've added two new links on the home page
For More Brights
Employ the new "share tool" (upper right column) as an easy way to let others know about the movement. Click it to quickly produce an email or to follow any of a variety of media pathways (Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Linkdin, etc.)
For More Backing
Now you can easily reach one of the more important financial support pathways for the movement. You can click on the "Amazon purchases" link (midway down the home page, right column).
Brights Annual Calendars
2010 Calendar Now Available! - You can hang it on the wall or put it beside your desk. If you want to portray a positive, friendly, science-compatible outlook, this calendar is the one for you!
Like its antecedents, the 2010 version is something that people of every stripe can appreciate, not just Brights. (Translation: It's great for gifting!) Unlike its predecessors, this year's annual calendar features beautiful paintings and drawings. The price is US$16.47. Check it out!
Planning for 2011 - Believe it or not, we will soon be working on the next year's calendar, to be called "The Brights' World." To succeed with the proposed vision, we will need your help. The coordinator (Diane) wants to acquire images of YOUR part of the world. We welcome photos you have taken yourself. (Absolutely NO copyrighted material!) The Brights forum has details on how you can provide images that will distinguish your region: its famous buildings or sights, its distinctive cityscapes or rural views, its unique natural features, etc.
New BCC Welcomes Members (Tunisia)
A Brights Community Cluster has begun in Tunisia. Its first meeting was a small gathering at a local hotel in Tunis. Coordinator (Frank) labeled it "a great success" and reports that the next meeting of will be to discuss with a group of students "Islam et les sciences." Discussions are in French. Other members are welcome to join, so tell your Tunisian friends! Contact Frank to join!
How They Heard
Michele (Italy): "I've seen 'brights' in the signature of a friend's email."
Luca (Italy): "I read it a book from Piergiorgio Odiffredi: "Il matematico impertinente". [Note from BC: This book has caused more than 800 Italians to register as Brights!]
Susan (Texas, USA): "A colleague's web site had discrete notice at the bottom that he was a bright."
The above registration remarks are examples of how telling others about the Brights movement pays off! In short - Don't be bashful, tell others - it is the way we grow.
Morality Project Drawing Strong Support
The Brights' Network has never received as many positive emails regarding any volunteer project as have arrived in response to the recent Morality Project status report (blasted to all active subscribers on November 17).
We have appreciated those messages reporting how (or to whom) one has spread the updated news on the website. Best so far is this one: Susa (Finland): "I forwarded the news to about 300...I enclosed the Status Report on my mail."
Brights around the world can decide who might find acquaintance with the fundamental assertions of "Reality about Morality" to be valuable to them. The new "share tool" on the main project page makes it easy to inform others by various media corridors.
Next Up for Morality Project
Having laid some scientific groundwork during Project Areas A and B, the project will move forward to the next steps, which are detailed in the project outline.
Before planning for the design and development of presentation and instructional materials for varied target audiences (Project Area C), Brights Central will be forwarding a compilation of recent response messages to the project leader for consideration. Then, we will set up a process to acquire more participation from constituents. We hope to obtain some serious volunteer commitments from interested and qualified members of the constituency to "hang meat on the bones" of the foundational concepts (through illustration and examples as necessary).
Aid the French-Speaking Network (France)
November's BrightsFrance newsletter carries mention that its network does not live only "on love and fresh water"! Organizers welcome help for site hosting and declare a commitment to the transparent use of funds (the initial PayPal support problem has been untangled, and proper financing of the network can now proceed.) All support will be directed ONLY for the benefit of the network's visibility.
Besides seeking broad participation monetarily, the BrightsFrance network urges another action to help with its overall visibility: Members should register into the international network as well as into the French network.
Evolution Education Resources
Are you interested in challenging creationist attempts to undermine evolution?
Last month we reported the new Evolution Education Flyer as one tool you can use with the general public (download; duplicate as a 2-sided or 2-page handout; distribute). Recently added to the site is a further listing of quality resources. This supplemental bibliography specifies materials useful to teachers and others interested in defense of evolution.
One item listed in the bibliography may be of particular interest: "Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation" by Mike Keller, with art by Nicolle Rager Fuller. Although published too late for inclusion in the Evo-Ed Flyer produced by Forum members, it seems to be the very type of item the Forum team had been looking for (aimed at neophytes). The narrative and caricatures appear to act together to humanize Darwin and bring to life his pioneering research. This title is likely to be included on the Flyer later.
And, if you choose to purchase, you can locate it with the Amazon link and simultaneously support the Brights!
NOTE: Any subsequent revisions in the Flyer or resource bibliography will take into consideration informed input from the constituency. We invite you to comment. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Books by Brights
"Kaleidoscope" by Paul Gehrman is a novel based on strong freethought themes and a naturalistic worldview.
We'd be pleased to send you a dozen really nice paper bookmarks to distribute among your reading friends (nice quality paper; friendly stocking stuffers). They are available free in the USA and at cost elsewhere.
Thanks to those who ordered the free bookmarks but enclosed a dollar or two anyway. After recouping printing costs, all extra will go toward arranging additional distribution. As we do have a Brights coordinator in the United Kingdom (Quentin), BC hopes to be able to make the same "free offer" available there.
There were over 550 registrations this past month, exceeding the average of the two previous months.
Brights' Net Gains Link to Prisoners in Federal Prisons (USA)
For a number of years now, Joel has provided the service of sending excerpts from the Bulletin via postal mail to incarcerated Brights. We are pleased to learn that we can also Email the Bulletin to federally incarcerated Brights.
The U.S. Federal Prison system has set up a secure system which allows prisoners to contact approved entities. (Jason is the first Bright to contact us from a Federal prison.) This is a great improvement over the many state systems, which do not allow prisoners to have any access to the Web.
Canadian Brights - A New FaceBook for You
Brights Movement Ontario is on FaceBook!
Atheists Claim Discrimination (Australia)
The Atheist Foundation of Australia has accused the Brumby Government of discriminating against atheists by refusing to fund the movement's global conference in Melbourne but giving $2 million to a religious conference. More at:
Note from BC: Australia has the 5th largest enrollment in the Brights constituency.
Bus Ads Are Example of Local Alliances (USA)
A new Sacramento Brights Action Meetup will be allying with other local groups in another United Coalition of Reason's project to produce bus and billboard advertisements. The one being arranged in Sacramento will read: "ARE YOU GOOD WITHOUT GOD? MILLIONS ARE!"
Clear to Muddy to Clear
delldweller: "A good clear exposition of why Brights are not 'atheists' in the commonly understood meaning of the term. However, I still have difficulty with a naturalistic worldview co-existing with membership of religious organisations which clearly do not have a naturalistic worldview - surely schizophrenia is not far away?"
nickolasthefrog: "@delldweller, on the question of co-existence...she means to include individuals who retain a cultural or nominal affiliation with a religious community while rejecting the supernatural. These people may enjoy church without believing."
The above exchange regards Mynga's interview at the Atheist Alliance International conference in October.
A Song of Science - Enjoy!
Suggested by Marcos: Symphony of Science - 'We Are All Connected' (featuring Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Neil deGrasse Tyson & Bill Nye).
Registration Comments From Brights
Guillermo (Florida, USA): "I use to be a Bright for the last 20 years but I didn't know. This is the perfect description of my real life."
Frank (California, USA): "I have long wondered what group I belong to. I think I have found it!"
Rick (Michigan, USA): "I'm glad to find an inclusive and non-judgmental group that subscribes to the naturalistic worldview. I am grateful for the chance to be counted as a Bright. Thank You!" Marie (USA): "This is the perfect place for me--Eureka, I've found it! Thanks for giving me a safe haven for my own, private worldview!"
Jordan (USA): "I'm a recovering minister. … I am happy to have found the Brights. I suppose I'm giving my testimony, as I used to do as a minister all the time. What truly brought peace and joy to my life was being a Happy Human."
Andy (UK): "I feel like I have finally found a belief system that fits into my view of the world, free from oppressive and suffocating conjecture based on ancient best sellers. Thanks guys."
From BC to Andy: Welcome! And, it helps to keep in mind that this "belief system" you have found actually consists of your own set of beliefs (it's YOUR worldview). The Brights movement does not press for any set of beliefs (system), only that the worldview is to have no supernatural or mystical ingredients. That leaves lots of room for individuality! There's more on this subject in the FAQs page.
Forming Brights Clusters
Kelly at Brights Central is the contact person for leaders of local/national Brights clusters (BCCs). She can also provide information and help on getting a group started. As time goes on, she will be available to offer assistance when a group moves beyond camaraderie and into a mode of choosing a project to accomplish in the name of The Brights' Net. You can contact Kelly at email@example.com