As promised, this is the post for my second “cash for comment” appeal. I’ll be giving $1 per comment, once again, up to a limit of $1000 (last time there were about 500 comments). I plan to donate the proceeds to Medecins Sans Frontieres, and express a preference for projects related to the The Global Fund to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria . These diseases kill over 6 million people each year, and the numbers are growing. Of course, cosponsors are welcome to nominate their own preferred charity.
As before, I’m also hoping for cosponsors, who agree to put in 5,10, 20 or 50 cents up to whatever limit seems appropriate. When the appeal is done, I’ll email to tell you how much you’ve promised. You then send the donation to MSF or your preferred alternative. If you can advise me when you’ve done it (and if you want, send a copy of the receipt) that’s great, but this entire appeal is being done on the basis of trust. I’ve already had one offer of 10c per comment, which I hope to confirm soon.
As regards your comments, anything you want to say is fine (civilised discussion and no coarse language, please), and it doesn’t have to be more than a word or two. But I’d be interested in discussion on the issues raised by exercises of this kind, for example, priorities in aid, the role of private philanthropy vs governments, NGOs, business and so on.
I’ll just mention that I’m financing my contribution partly from the payment I got for a review of Lomborg’s book, Global Crises, Global Solutions, coming out of the Copenhagen Consensus. Although I had some severe criticisms of that exercise, there were some important positives as well, and the assessment of health initiatives was largely consistent with the priorities identified by the Global Fund. So it seems appropriate to allocate the proceeds to a high-priority good cause.
The appeal will continue until 6pm Sunday Queensland time. I’ve got a few things on over the weekend, but I’ll try to post some updates.
Update 11pm Friday The appeal has barely begun and already cosponsors have promised 80 cents a comment, in addition to my $1. That’s a target of $1800. So please, spread the word.
Update Saturday 4pm I expected to get more comments than last time and fewer cosponsors, having already leaned on the generosity of my regular readers. In fact, it’s been pretty much the reverse. Comments have been a bit slow coming on, but the support from cosponsors has been truly impressive. Roughly in order
An anonymous regular reader has offered 50c per comment
Ken Harwood has offered 20c
Jonathan Lundell has offered 10c
Harry Clarke has offered 20c
Mister z has offered 10c
rdb has offered 10c
Emma has offered up to $100 (not sure what rate)
matthew Klugman has offered 10c
If my arithmetic is right, that’s a total pledge of $2.30 a comment. Given that it looks pretty unlikely that the upper limit is going to be reached, I’ll pitch in another 70c, and bring it up to $3. Is this a bargain, or what?
Update 2pm Sunday We’ve just passed 150 comments, so the amount raised is over $500, which is not bad, although there’s a lot more than this still on the table. Let’s hope we can make at least 200 by 6 pm (four hours to go).
Peter Fuller offers 20 cents per comment – up to 500 ($100)
Bill Gardner offers 0.25 / comment, up to A$100.
Caitlin offers $50 if we reach 500
I forgot to mention in the earlier update that Jack Strocchi has offered 10c, subject to the requirement that I should say something nice about Bill Gates and his charitable efforts. Sooner done than said!
Appeal ended 6pm Sunday A total of 156 comments and a bit over $500 raised. Not as successful as last time, but a good effort nonetheless. Tomorrow, I’ll be getting in touch with the many generous cosponsors to tell them how much they’ve promised. Thanks very much to them, and to everyone who took the time to comment and think a little a bit about the issues. Thanks also to Tim Blair, Mark Bahnisch, Claire from Anggargoon(?) and others who linked. My Trackbacks aren’t working properly so there may be others I’ve missed.
fn1. At my absolute discretion, I’ll delete bots, spammers, repetitive commenters etc. If you don’t trust me to act fairly in this respect, or any other, don’t participate.