BRIGHTS BULLETIN -- JULY 2011
Brights Brochure Available
Looking for an easy way to explain this movement to others? There’s a new brochure about the Brights you can use. A tri-fold in format, it clarifies to supers and brights alike that a prime aspiration of the Brights movement is civic fairness for people who have a naturalistic worldview.
Download and print
some copies in readiness for occasions when those friends and relatives ask you, “So, why do you participate in the Brights?” The tri-fold can be printed in color or black (or blue) and white. It is available in A4 or 8½ x 11 inch formats.
Even better than printing out just a few, why not convey the PDF to a print shop and obtain a goodly supply for various purposes you can surely envision when you start to think about it?
A “Drop-down Menu” Feature
As an early chapter in a plan to upgrade content over the next few months, the Brights’ website has incorporated drop-down menus in the main navigation scheme. This additional facility enables site visitors to better see principal structural elements of the site.
Until now, many of the key elements lay deep behind the main tabs (home, vision, people, movement, action, community), requiring the user to “drill deep” to get to them. Now, there is easy accessibility from most any page. As resources permit (i.e., as time of personnel is available), more revisions will be made.
Very Bad News from Amazon!
Most Bulletin subscribers know that The Brights’ Net has for several years been an “Amazon affiliate.” That is, when Brights in North America and the United Kingdom purchased products through the links on the website, TBN received a commission from the company. This arrangement was a gentle way for individual Brights to support the constituency at no cost to them.
Now this option is gone.
A June 29 email notification from Amazon stated that a new California law “…compels us to terminate this program for California-based participants…We deeply regret that we must take this action.”
Although advertising commissions varied monthly depending on individuals’ purchases, the arrangement has yielded a useful cumulative contribution. Payments had grown sufficiently substantial that, in the last two years, the Amazon program was counted on as part of Brights Central’s overhead. Thus, this bewildering change does impact the operational budget and prompts us, for the first time ever, to depart from BC’s promise to request financial support from the constituency only two times a year (at the equinoxes).
This is a plea. If you can manage to do so, please help to financially remediate this sudden loss
. There are varied pathways to assist, the best being a monthly subscription, however small the amount. Thank you!
International Brights Forum Report
It's been an exciting month in the Forum, to say the least. For one thing, a new usage is becoming current: a singular application of "Brights", as in "The Brights is promoting fair treatment of all worldviews". What do you think of this usage? Register at the Forum
and say your piece about the word.
This writer throws his weight around by inviting viewers to view this Topic about "Talking About Talking About Differences"
. (No, that's not a typo.) What do you think is the right approach to engaging with those with whom you disagree?
New Brights Community Cluster (Spain)
Jose in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is using Meetup.com in hopes of forming a sustainable BCC there. He wonders if anyone else would like to join the group
for meetings and gatherings. He envisions participants would locally share knowledge, ideas, and actions aimed toward a society more preserving of freedom of conscience. If interested, you can email Jose from the site page.
Posters Now Available to Interested Brights
Brights Central has good news for you who have asked (begged?) to purchase evolution wall posters for your own use, but had been denied! (The main project is supplying posters FREE to high school teachers who teach about evolution.)
BC has permission from the developers to make the first batch of printed copies available to anyone and recoup printing costs. The first posters printed have a uniform “starry night sky” background. A technical change was made to have the background effect actually match the example you see on the website
; that is, to appear with graduated shading "as advertised".
Images in this "dark sky version" are all identical to the finished poster, and very precisely done, even the tiniest, except that the background is more uniform. If interested in obtaining just one or two of these, you can do so.
Use PayPal and follow its instructions to send US$18.38 (if in the USA) for the printing, shipping tube, and postage. Add $15 more if you want two posters (more than two, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
directly). If not a US resident, then $US25 will probably cover the approximate international postage of sending it to diverse locations. (If there is any excess, we simply transfer the small balance to the poster fund.) Put your complete correct shipping address on the PayPal form, AND be sure to say "Dark Sky Poster" so that the amount will not be treated as a general donation. Checks in $US will also be accepted (mail to the address on the website). We can send your poster out the same week we receive payment.
The Brights’ Network – It’s Different!
Fiona (Australia): “I really identify with everything that you stand for… I find it especially refreshing to read that you are a constituency of individuals and that you seek fairness for all - I find that being led by selected members of a group invariably results in an escalation of politics and division.”
Petter (Norway): “The brights is perfect for me!! :DD and also it's the perfect name for a ‘future’ community; for when people start realizing more and more that this supernatural stuff is the things we ought to keep on the movie-screen and not in real life stories ;P”
Emily (UK): “Love live Bright Pride and I hope very many people join to provide support for people who currently feel incapable of "coming out" because there is nowhere for them to turn. Spread this meme!”
Niels (Netherlands): “I don't see myself as a missionary, and I do respect the other points of view, but it feels just great to have your point of view confirmed in [such] an organisation as the Brights’ Network, and I will tell friends about it when it comes up in conversations.”
Start Conversations & Draw Attention!
Lapel pins, cloth patches, and the array of “stuff” in the Brights Shop at Café Press
(mugs, magnets, stickers, T-shirts, hats, hoodies and other apparel) can be wonderful conversation-starters and help you to draw attention to the movement. Most items show the logo and the website URL, and some have catchy slogans, such as “no supernatural ingredients” or “living on the bright side of life.” There is very little markup on merchandise
; it is considered a constituent service, not a money-making endeavor, so look over the options.
: You can casually draw attention to the Brights through your email signature, website icons, brochures, web banners, wallet cards, and mini-flyers. Check out the various items on the downloads page
Situations across the World – All Different
Andrew (Australia): “The free-thinker and naturalistic paradigm is a little different here in Australia and perhaps less urgent than in the US… Good luck - you must feel like a group of medieval heretics at times.”
Francisco (Illinois, USA): “I came to this site after hours of web searching and years of political and religious conflict in my own life. I finally feel at home in everything the Bright's do, say and believe. Thank you for that.”
Glenda (Arkansas, USA): “I am a professor ... and struggle daily against Christian fundamentalist ignorance and bigotry in the classroom.”
Eyob (Ethiopia): “Sometimes I and my friends genuinely feel that a belief in cause and effect or as you said it, a ‘naturalistic world view’ other than any extra forces, is a matter of life and death if this country is really to get out of chronic poverty it has been through for years. The good news is that this generation of ours, thanks to creators of internet, is being able to look at how the wider world functions and is rapidly changing and questioning.”
Bruno (France): “[I am] eager to find new and constructive ways to envision the place of human beings in the universe. Knowledge and understanding of ourselves, our environment and our history is the key. Fight fear with knowledge, not superstition.”
Anytime God is part of a message, one is obviously operating in the realm of religion and communications are thereby burdened with its societal baggage. Can the Brights play a different ballgame? Perhaps so, if moving their thinking beyond the religion domain.
Last month’s Bulletin asked Brights to try to generate messages to illuminate a naturalistic worldview without
using the G-word. Thanks to all who submitted their ideas. Here is a small sampling of the submissions (some from different people were quite similar, such that wording overlapped). Any possible bumper stickers here? (Can you top these? Send to email@example.com with NO-GOD in your subject line.)
“An empty sky is just so full of wonders!”
“The world is everything that is the case.” Wittgenstein
“Imagine no science!”
“The Big Bang created everything.”
“You can be good – just because you want to be”
Rather than illuminating the worldview, most submissions seemed to focus persuading others to free themselves of reliance on supernatural in explaining the world.
“Get real with your life – it’s only natural”
“Drop the supernatural woo and enjoy reality”
“Grow up and get a naturalistic worldview – Isn’t it time?”
Not So Easy! Is It?
Also elicited in last month’s Bulletin were phrases to promote the Brights’ vision of civic equality. But, these seem even harder to come by. Only one Bright added to the starter example touching on civic fairness (the idea of gaining more acceptance and inclusion for citizens who have a naturalistic outlook).
Original: “Everyone included / all treated fairly —and injustice just gives up the ghost!”
Added by Art, who envisioned a circle: “Civic fairness for all who practice civic fairness for all who …”
Additionally, there were those who wanted to advertise the Brights’ website:
Newbies Who Like the Brights Idea
Leo (UK): “I think this is the smartest and most rational thing I've seen in my life.”
Bode (Ohio, USA): “I'm glad to be able to put a name to my world view :)”
Jessica (California, USA): “I love that you chose ‘Brights’ as a label because I love the idea that we all sprung from white hot energy and that we have the potential to create a brighter future through using our minds.”
Chen-yu (Taiwan): “The Brights give me eyes to defend my brain.”
Blake (Montana, USA): “This seems like an appropriate and appropriately amenable umbrella.”
Petter (Norway): “The brights is perfect for me!! :DD and also it's the perfect name for a ‘future’ community; for [a time] when people start realizing more and more that this supernatural stuff is the things we ought to keep on the movie-screen and not in real life stories.”
“A Little Brightness” – An Appreciation
When one is volunteering, it’s always nice to receive positive feedback. Joel, the volunteer who adapts the monthly Brights Bulletins for prisoners, recently received this from one of the subscribers:
“Dear Joel: Greetings! I hope all is well with you. Just a short note to say thank you for your work with ‘a little brightness.’ I know you may not hear it often, but we prisoners do appreciate your work. I've been a subscriber for some time now and I always read my monthly issues cover to cover. Once I'm finished with the issue, I then pass it on to like-minded guys. (I like to "recycle" good material.) You always include a good blend of information, motivation, and thought-provoking material in each monthly issue. So, please keep up the good work! Thanks, Jeromy”
Got a Cure?
This request came in from Jean-Paul (Ontario, Canada):
“Interjections that we all use like God, Oh my God, Heavens, Heavens Above, Hell, Go to Hell, Christ, Jesus Christ, and their insufficiently secular equivalents Gosh, Jeepers, Jeepers Creepers, Heck, etc. These seem to be so ingrained in the language (and not just English) that I find it almost impossible to rid myself of them. Any suggestions?”
If you have found a way to rid yourself of using religious interjections that we can convey to Jean-Paul, please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Put REMEDY in uppercase letters in your subject line.