The Brights' Bulletin
January 8, 2004
(Note that links in archived Bulletin issues may no longer be valid.)
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION (THE GOAL) - 100,000 BRIGHTS IN ACTION BY THE END OF 2004
BRIGHTS' FORUM FOR INTERESTED BRIGHTS
The Forum is now open to everyone. All users, expert through novice, are invited to visit. The purpose of the Forum is to enable Brights to "discuss the Brights movement and how best to achieve its goals."
The Brights' Forum is designed not only as a discussion arena for interested participants, but also as a positive source of information. If you wish merely to read what other Brights have to say on topics, no registration is necessary. You can simply go to the Forum and view the various topics as a "Guest".
To put in your own two cents worth (a post), you must register as a "Forum Member." [Note: This is in addition your earlier sign-up as a Bright.]
There has already been much forum activity from those Brights who, upon reading Bulletin 8's "go-live" announcement (December 13), considered themselves already so well-versed in Internet discussion that they would not require any introduction in forum use. The Brights' Forum currently has over 600 such members, 800 topics under discussion, and 6500 interesting posted messages.
FROM THE WEBMASTER:
To get started in the Forum, please take a look at the simple set of instructional materials constructed to aid Brights who are forum neophytes. This introductory material is at: www.the-brights.net/learnforum
There are five steps ("lessons") covering the essential things to know. Users with forum experience may find they are able to simply skim the material and proceed straight ahead, whereas truly first-time novices may want to print out the pages and then work through slowly and carefully step by step.
See you in the forums! Kevin
DICTIONARY TASK TEAM (A MESSAGE FROM TEAM LEADER, DEREK)
In order to appropriately contact and alert publishers of dictionaries to usage of the noun form of "bright" (and lobby for its inclusion in their dictionaries), I would like those who are making use of the neologism to provide me with examples of how you are using the word.
I need persons willing to supply their e-mail address, their name, and their location (city, state), along with a brief statement (a sentence or two, at the most) of affirmation of usage.
The affirmation says that you do indeed employ the word somehow in everyday life. Here is one example: Jackson S, of Washington, DC, writes: "Before the advent of bright as a noun, it was hard for me to find a way to accurately describe to people my worldview. Now, I use it all the time, and it helps enormously." A brief statement of what you say when you use the term would be helpful but not necessary.
Send your statements to firstname.lastname@example.org and make SURE you put in the subject line: DICTIONARY TASK TEAM. Submission deadline is January 25th.
By the way, if you don't know already, the Macmillan English dictionary on-line has a definition and an overview of the origin of the noun Bright.
ICONS, ROUND #2
The many icon submissions have been screened and narrowed to a feasible number. Before the next bulletin, they will be posted to the Web site for your review and comment.
"TURNING UP THE BRIGHTNESS" AWARD - 2004
How about engaging in some individual "Bright Action" during the coming year? Be a Bright and WRITE, WRITE, WRITE.
Write letters to editors and/or generate OpEd essays or articles for public media (newspapers, periodicals, magazines, etc.) that:
(1) use the word "bright" appropriately and/or
[Guidelines at: http://www.the-brights.net/brights_how_to.htm]
(2) speak to the need or aims on the home page of the Brights, and/or
(3) mention the Brights' Net Web site URL.
The more from these three (1,2,3), the better! However, lengthy letters to editors are seldom published, so pay close attention to publication guidelines.
If your item is published, then you can notify the Brights' Net of your contribution to "turning up the Brightness" and e-mail us a copy of the text. Please use this subject line: MY PUBLISHED ITEM
The published items will be accumulated across the year, and those that pass initial screening criteria will be placed on a new "Turning Up the Brightness" Web page. To appear on the Web, any candidate letter, article, or op-ed must be consistent with the aims and principles of the Brights' Net.
At year's end all Brights will be able to vote on the best item from the screened collection. Three Brights having the most votes will receive a 2004 Brights' Net "Turning Up the Brightness" plaque.
All writers should be thoroughly versed in the Brights' definition, and the three purposes and nine principles of the Brights' Net (all of which can be easily located by going to the home page). In keeping with the principles, any mention of the Brights should in general carry a constructive rather than off-putting tone.
Eligible submissions will have already endured an editorial selection process. Items that will NOT qualify for the Award are those appearing in media that print all submissions received, self-published materials, Internet forums, blogs, Web pages, and so forth.
Poetry Contributed by David from Michigan, USA
Not from preachers, epiphanies,
nor angels that rejoice,
but through my fellow Brights,
you shall hear my voice.
As we reach for the stars,
and strive for an ideal,
to the conscience of humanity,
we make our appeal.
Full of promise and compassion,
not division and hate,
we're grounded in reality,
not apocalyptic fate.
For truth is not delusion,
but rather cold hard fact,
it stands without apology,
embellishment or tact.
Though sometimes catastrophic,
for the results that it brings,
only nature can be perfect,
for it's the measure of all things.
BRIGHTS WHO WANT TO MEET BRIGHTS
There have been numerous(!) requests regarding Brights who want to get together with other Brights. Currently, the two main options are the "Brights' Forum" (to participate in on-line exchanges and perhaps subsequently move off Forum into personal exchanges) and "brights.meetup.com" (for in-person camaraderie).
(1) The Brights' Net Forum: www.the-brights.net/forums
(2) MeetUp: www.brights.meetup.com [MeetUp is NOT part of The Brights' Net!]
WHAT JOY! (REJOICING AS A BRIGHT)
(Recent signup remarks by Tasokwa, from New York, USA
"On this Christmas day, I joined the millions who share the same worldview as mine: The Brights! From now on Christmas will have a different meaning to me! It is the most beautiful thing to come to the realization that the universe can indeed be comprehended! The Bright, in my opinion, is free to continue with the basic human inquiry of finding out how the universe and its content came to be. I rejoice in the realization that the next generation will know more about nature than me. That is, humans will make progress in their understanding of physical reality!"
SIMPLICTY IS POWERFUL
A recent Palm Beach Post article generated numerous sign-ups to the Brights! [It comprised mostly Brights' FAQs and thus is included below in its entirety!] Perhaps you can adapt it for a local newsletter. Or, use key portions in letters to the editor. Or, submit a similar article to your local newspaper. There is plenty of "raw material" on the Web site. Be creative. The Brights' Net will know you have been active as a Bright because new sign-ups will come flowing in!
Web Site Offers an Alternative
By Ron Wiggins, Palm Beach Post Staff Columnist, Sunday, January 4, 2004
Are you treading philosophical waters in a sea of believers and nonbelievers, not sure whether you're an atheist, agnostic, free-thinker, infidel-lite or just religiously confused? Maybe you're a Bright. Gil Gaudia is.
For a lot more on The Brights, see www. the-brights.net.
For substantially less, here's the gist of the Sacramento-based group's replies to frequently asked questions:
Question: Who is a Bright?
Answer: The Brights' umbrella is large, very large. For example, Brights can be agnostics, rationalists, skeptics, atheists, objectivists, and so on. No label at all need apply... just plain "nonreligious" or "uninterested in religion" will do.
Q: What does it cost to become a Bright?
A: Nothing. This is a constituency of individuals, and not a membership organization.
Q: How do I become a Bright?
A: Just say you are and you are.
Q: What are the purposes of Web site?
A: To seek greater social and civic acceptance for persons free of supernatural beliefs, and to get Brights into the language.
A: To form a visible constituency of supernaturalism-free individuals.
Q: Who coined "Brights"?
A: Paul Geisert, a Sacramento Bright, is co-founder with Mynga Futrell, also a Sacramento Bright. Daniel C. Dennett, a professor of philosophy at Tufts University, is an active supporter and author of "The Bright Stuff," an article that appeared in the New York Times July 12, 2003.
FLORIDA, USA - MEET WITH CO-DIRECTORS
The Co-directors would welcome an opportunity to meet informally with interested Brights in southwestern Florida, where they will be from Jan 23 - 29. If you would like to arrange to get together with them casually, send an e-mail to email@example.com and place in the subject line (in uppercase) TAMPA or FORT MYERS. In the body, you can specify your own general date/time preferences. From e-mails sent in, they can determine how many have interest and respond regarding time(s) and place(s).
SPECIFICS FROM PAUL & MYNGA:
We'd be delighted to meet with a few local Brights if there is interest. On Jan 24-25, we will be in the Tampa area, where we are presenting a talk at the Humanists of Florida annual convention. We will be in Fort Myers on either side of the humanists' gathering. We can attend a Brights' meetup on the 26th (if one is being held in either city. If not, we can just arrange something ourselves.
You can read all prior and current Bulletins and "Brighten Ops" in the archive at 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 around the world do not have the capability to receive e-mail in any other form. When we redo the Web site in the spring (our goal), we will add html capabilities.
Co-Directors: Mynga Futrell and Paul Geisert
Webmaster: Kevin Schultz