The Brights' Bulletin
November 30, 2003
(Note that links in archived Bulletin issues may no longer be valid.)
A MILESTONE - SIX MONTHS ON THE WEB!!
It was a mere 6 months ago that The Brights' Net arrived on the Web! As we reflect on the remarkable growth in this short length of time, we'd like to express appreciation to Brights around the world. Thanks for all the work you've done to get the word out about this constituency, for the many talents you've offered, for the personal kindness to us and to others in the movement, and for your taking of courageous public stands to promote a fairer civic situation for persons who have a naturalistic worldview. We are proud to be part of this worldwide constituency of nifty people!
THE BRIGHTS IDEA - IN THE WORDS OF GALILEO, "BUT STILL, IT MOVES."
The "Brights idea" is to urge society in the direction of social and civic equality for Brights in every nation of the world. The word is certainly getting around! Just since our previous bulletin, the news has reached 10 additional nations! [There are now Brights in 95 countries!]
It's rather astonishing what one tiny bit of press will do. For example, a single article in Sonntags-Zeitung brought in quite a cadre of Swiss signups.
There is a Korean Web site adaptation at
Our next volunteer task team effort will seek further language translations to set out the basic idea of the Brights' Net (and offer the opportunity to be counted) in a number of additional languages.
MEETUP CHANGES DATE FOR DECEMBER
http://www.brights.meetup.com (International): Over 1,460 individuals in 90 cities get together using the MeetUp site. Check it out. The day to meet has been moved (for December only) to Monday, the 15th.
COOPERATION STRENGTHENS EVERYONE
We hope in the year to come that Brights who belong to an organization will encourage their society to more seriously consider the essential concepts of the Brights' Net. It is quite clear that many organizations go beyond surface issues and really do "get it"! We can point to two commendable examples.
Through its "Internet Project" [http://humanists.net], the Institute for Humanist Studies has, from day one, hosted free the Brights' Web site. It has also provided the database space and technical assistance to allow the constituency's rapid growth. We are grateful to the Institute and its staff for this support of the initiative.
Another example of voluntary cooperation, this one from a membership group, comes from the American Humanist Association. It recently launched a "Bright Rights Web site" of its own at http://www.brightrights.org. Through that creative endeavor, the AHA has added another dimension to the umbrella movement of the Brights.
Such coordinated actions are much appreciated and valued, but the key element to cooperation for any membership organization is simply acknowledging the personal autonomy of its members and respecting their right to link up with the umbrella constituency of naturalist individuals that the Brights' Net represents.
FROM THE WEBMASTER, KEVIN
Brights, it is a very great pleasure for me, on behalf of the forum task team, to extend to you an invitation to join us on-line beginning Saturday, December 13, for the opening of the Brights' discussion forums. Please watch your email Inbox for specific instructions on how to register and begin using the forums. The forum task team is currently notifying facilitators and inviting a small random subset of volunteer Brights to assist us with the final evaluation of the forums prior to the official opening.
The Forums exist specifically to "discuss the Brights' movement and how best to achieve its goals." We want this tool to be the basis of the most successful campaigns for social and civic justice the Brights' community have ever had.
I would like to publicly express my gratitude and thanks to my fellow members of the forum task team for sharing their energy, enthusiasm, resourcefulness, and skill. It is their efforts that made this project a reality.
See you in the forums!
Fabio ( Brazil): What I liked most about this initiative is that it seeks not to "convert" or to "enlighten" the non-Bright, but instead to make them understand and acknowledge our beliefs and foster tolerance and inclusion of us all. Were the three purposes listed in this Webpage the same for every religion on Earth (understanding, ethics and acceptance), it could really mean the end of all the religious conflicts on the planet!
Adrian ( Canada): I've been reading about the "bright controversy." I think bright is a good idea for a name. Not great, not fantastic, but certainly not bad or even mediocre. If it sticks, good; if it doesn't, we'll think of something better. Good stuff, and good times to be a bright.
If each Bright personally influences just one person to sign up and be counted, the size of the constituency will double by the next Bulletin.
You can print out copies of a quarter-page flier" for downloading and printing and distributing to meetings, bookstores, and so forth.
There are also "information cards" (wallet size) that you can print out, nine to a page, to hand to interested individuals.
NEW NON-PROFIT STATUS ( USA)
An important event: The Brights' Net has just received its non-profit designation [501(c)(3)] from the Internal Revenue Service. American Brights can take a federal tax deduction for 2003 by donating to the Brights!
In 2004, we will be prepared to accept donations in a variety of ways, such as by VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, and check, but before the year's end, your only opportunity for a tax-deductible donation is by check.
The Brights' Net receives no governmental funds or foundation grants. Our income since formally organizing (August, 2003) came entirely from the two directors and two generous donors (both of whom asked us if we needed money, one donating $3,000 and the other $1,000). Volunteers established and developed the Brights' Net (the Web site, database, forums and so forth), and our Web site and e-mail server have been donated.
Even with meager financial resources the Brights grew rapidly to five figures in 95 nations. The Brights' Net concept has struck a vein of interest all over the world. It is our responsibility to give this organization the resources to respond and the ability to seriously challenge how society views individuals with a naturalistic worldview. The Brights' Net's rapid growth has been due to colossal media and Internet exposure. We soon must move into an action phase.
We grew by controversy; we will flourish on the basis of our own actions.
Your donation can help The Brights' Net to gear up for 2004 to pursue the three goals stated on the home page at http://www.the-brights.net. We welcome your support of the Brights at what is a crucial juncture. Funds received will be used to expedite our move into action programs early in 2004. Send donation checks to The Brights' Net, 163418 Fort Sutter Station, Sacramento, CA 95816.
CHEERS TO ALL VOLUNTEERS
The Brights' Net has been accumulating a fat folder of volunteer helpers. To date, we have called upon those persons only one time (picking a random set of volunteers to help us beta-test the new forum). So, perk up, all you volunteers, as we will come calling shortly! In fact, it's our "New Years' resolution!"
ICON SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE APPROACHES
We have received icon submissions from over 40 individuals. We will continue to accept submissions to December 6th. Please be sure to follow the guidelines at
WORTHWHLE ACCURATE ARTICLE ON THE "NONES" OF THE NATION ( USA)
"Number of `Nones,' Those Who Claim No Religion, Swells in U.S."
by Mark O'Keefe c.2003 Newhouse News Service [Nov. 25, 2003]
Better check this one out pronto! It is online now, but if the article goes into their final archive, it costs $10 to read it (and we cannot duplicate it).
You can read all prior and current Bulletins and "Brighten Ops" in the archive at http://www.the-brights.net/broadcastarchive.htm
If you prefer to read the Bulletin on line at the above link, or not to receive future Bulletins, please reply to this e-mail by placing in the SUBJECT line the word UNSUBSCRIBE.
Why does the Bulletin use simple text? Many Brights do not have the capability to receive e-mail in any other form. When we redo the web in the spring, we will add html capabilities.
Co-Directors: Mynga Futrell and Paul Geisert
Webmaster: Kevin Schultz