Home > Life in General > Global Fund appeal

Global Fund appeal

February 18th, 2005

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).

Additional cosponsors

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.

Categories: Life in General Tags:
  1. doug
    February 18th, 2005 at 16:03 | #1

    A very worthy cause.

  2. Pat Allan
    February 18th, 2005 at 16:21 | #2

    Great stuff JQ

  3. February 18th, 2005 at 16:29 | #3

    How odd. Leaving this coment costs some other guy a dollar. Neat.

  4. February 18th, 2005 at 16:39 | #4

    Excellent choice of donee, John.

  5. Chris
    February 18th, 2005 at 16:48 | #5

    Hullo, wot. Guess I should do my part. Hey, the instant preview feature is cool. Tally ho.

  6. Chris
    February 18th, 2005 at 16:48 | #6

    Or, I mean, guess I should do your part. So to speak.

  7. February 18th, 2005 at 17:07 | #7

  8. Jonathan Lundell
    February 18th, 2005 at 17:14 | #8

    OK, I’m in for a dime. MSF is my choice as well, though I’m inclined to leave the project choice to them.

  9. February 18th, 2005 at 17:27 | #9

    Aha! “…costs some other guy a dollar”.

    Is there some way of fighting this externality?

    More seriously (though only just), here’s a long term solution to all these problems. Put the meiotic driving gene into the human Y chromosome and release it.

  10. yesenixan
    February 18th, 2005 at 17:34 | #10

    Woo! I made the top 10!
    …hey, you didn’t say we had to post something eloquent.

  11. Dave
    February 18th, 2005 at 17:36 | #11

    Good stuff … without being uncivil, perhaps a bit of controversy might generate a few more comments? A few choice words about global warming, evolution, HSC English, Tintin … these seem to draw in the punters.

  12. February 18th, 2005 at 17:42 | #12

    Very cool! By the way, I discussed some of those issues you mention over on my blog recently. Any others are most welcome to join in the conversation…

  13. harry clarke
    February 18th, 2005 at 17:43 | #13

    My offer 20 cents a comment up to 500. MSF fine.

    I hope private contributions don’t crowd-out public and it is worthwhile to think of mechanisms that ensure this.

    And how to give aid? You obviously don’t want it to feed the corrupt. But the corrupt may want to run things so you run into nationalism etc.

    I pose an academic problem that I hope does not trivialise the clear purpose of the current appeal. You have a tsunami-type disaster that creates excess demands in some commodity and capital markets. You can allow prices to increase which imposes hardship or add to supply, using aid, in a subset of the troubled markets. Which do you choose?

    Obviously satisfy urgent consumption needs first (food, clothing, temporary shelter) but after this what next? Can you read anything from the shortages that tell you what will best work or must you rely on the ‘priorities’ of aid bureaucrats. Certainly you don’t want to inhibit market forces that will improve things. Can you promote market processes by providing information thereby perhaps even avoiding the need for bureaucrats?

    This exercise does not make humanitarian sense in a community facing catastrophic disease risks, which is the direction of MSF, but makes sense more generally in thinking about emergency development aid.

    Finally, what role has self-interested ‘materialist guilt’ in aid-giving? Does this matter? I am thinking about critiques of ‘conspicuous compassion’. It is inevitable the way John has set this up (no criticism, I think it is a good idea) that we flaunt ‘compassion’.

  14. gordon
    February 18th, 2005 at 17:47 | #14

    A very nice idea and a good choice of recipient. Wouldn’t it be nice if Governments actually delivered on the aid “pledges” they so often make.

  15. novalis
    February 18th, 2005 at 18:17 | #15

    Oooh, MSF. My favorite!

  16. Motoko
    February 18th, 2005 at 18:17 | #16

    Dave is right. The best way to keep this going is a flame war. JQ’s refusal to accept the compelling evidence supporting evolutionary psychology comes to mind.

  17. February 18th, 2005 at 18:27 | #17


  18. February 18th, 2005 at 18:36 | #18

    Here’s my money comment. I’ll use it to point out that the sidebar link to John & Belle looks funny (at least in my browser): “John Holbo & #038; Belle Waring”. I never thought of John as much of a #038 guy, personally.

  19. February 18th, 2005 at 18:45 | #19

    Is trackback working again? I’ve just linked to this post at Troppo

  20. February 18th, 2005 at 18:45 | #20

    I also regret that although I matched John last time, but unfortunately as I’m not working at the moment til I finish my PhD and living off my (diminishing) savings I can’t afford to this time. But I’d encourage others to.

  21. February 18th, 2005 at 18:53 | #21

    OK, here’s another dollar you have to fork over.

  22. February 18th, 2005 at 18:58 | #22

    And I neglected in my last comments to congratulate you on this initiative, John.

  23. an illiterate one
    February 18th, 2005 at 19:10 | #23

    this is a very fun idea.

  24. February 18th, 2005 at 19:21 | #24

    I don’t think I’ve ever quite understood the pledges where someone offers to pay a certain amount for every lap someone swims or every comment someone writes, but I’ll participate anyway.

  25. February 18th, 2005 at 19:41 | #25

    a worthy cause indeed, though like Kenny I’ve always been a mite confused about ‘walk-a-thons’, ‘book-a-thons’ and the like. Also I’d love to hear some people’s comments on government vs private charitable giving.

    I read on a blog somewhere that governments will always stuff up the giving, corruption and all that, and it’s better for them to give tax breaks to people who can then give that money. I don’t agree with that, I’d love to see my government give more, but can almost see the logic behind it.

  26. Maria Moya
    February 18th, 2005 at 20:26 | #26

    Best of luck with you scheme!

  27. February 18th, 2005 at 20:46 | #27

    Thanks, John.

  28. James Farrell
    February 18th, 2005 at 21:40 | #28

    Good work, Captain. As with cigarette advertising, the question is whether this exercise is increasing charitable donation in the aggregate or just competing for market share. I wonder if your co-sponsors haven’t donated less to the Wheelies and Spastic Centre than they otherwise would have, since your tsunami apppeal.

  29. February 18th, 2005 at 21:59 | #29

    Medecins Sans Frontieres are a good crowd.

  30. Vee
    February 18th, 2005 at 22:05 | #30

    I posted this at ozpolitics

    Shouldn’t employment be “calculated by a broader measure than the standard ABS labour force survey definition, and including allowance for persons working noticeably shorter hours than they would wish and persons not actively looking for work, but who are anxious to join the workforce, including early retirees�.

    Therefore isn’t 5.1% employment questionable?

    Mr Palmer replied with


    You are confusing the use of a statistic as a measure with the use of a statistic as an indicator. Economists often use statistics as indicators and not as measures. Users of this statistic are fully aware of its limitations as a measure (of the sort you mention). Nonetheless they find it a useful shorthand indicator of labour market conditions (albeit, one that needs to be interpreted in the light of other statistics and anecdotal information).

    The critical issue is that this unemployment statistic has been trending downwards and this indicates (but does not accurately measure) a downward trend in unemployment in the economy. Its utility as an indicator comes from the statistic being collected in exactly the same manner month on month. So while this statistic may be a poor measure, as comparative indicator of change over time it is extremely useful.

    Thought I’d verify the accuracy of these comments as it sounds like doublespeak to me

  31. February 18th, 2005 at 22:38 | #31

    I was never a fan of doublespeak. However, I do like the term duckspeak. It basically meant to quack like a duck. It can be used as a both a positive and a negative thing. And the blogging world is full of it.

  32. February 18th, 2005 at 22:59 | #32

    But how about Wittgenstein’s duck, which might also be a rabbit? (if my memory of first year philosophy 14 years ago is at all accurate)?

  33. rashad
    February 18th, 2005 at 23:00 | #33

    Thanks for doing this.

  34. February 18th, 2005 at 23:14 | #34

    I will perhaps die before I understand how these things work, but count me in anyway.

  35. February 18th, 2005 at 23:34 | #35

    let’s do this! JQ as I mentioned to you via email I’m in for 10c a comment (ie AUD 100)… if I get the job I interviewed for yesterday at Oxfam GB I might even be able to up that… wish me luck!

  36. February 18th, 2005 at 23:41 | #36

    Good cause, John.

  37. billyfrombelfast
    February 18th, 2005 at 23:42 | #37

    Nice one John !

  38. Jim
    February 18th, 2005 at 23:45 | #38


  39. February 18th, 2005 at 23:48 | #39

    Good luck, mister z!

  40. Tony
    February 19th, 2005 at 00:02 | #40

    Great stuff! Keep it up.

  41. February 19th, 2005 at 00:10 | #41

    A propos related topics of discussion, I posted something along these lines back when I was participating in Blogathon ’03 collecting funds for Planned Parenthood. One of my contributors made the observation that none of the suggested charities of Blogathon ’03 had anything to do with arts and culture. Has anyone ever seen a blog donation appeal for those types of charities?

  42. February 19th, 2005 at 00:35 | #42

    I pinged this site (successfully according to the server) when I noticed that the trackback url had appeared. But it hasn’t appeared in comments. I then tried to post the url for the Troppo post in html code, but encountered a server error.

    End of technical report.

  43. February 19th, 2005 at 00:37 | #43
  44. February 19th, 2005 at 01:06 | #44

    Thanks for doing this. Doctors Without Borders is indeed a worthy organization. Nice to see that the blogosphere can be used to hurl donations as well as invective.

  45. Doug
    February 19th, 2005 at 01:08 | #45

    Long time reader, first time poster.

  46. LizardBreath
    February 19th, 2005 at 01:10 | #46

    Go MSF!

  47. February 19th, 2005 at 01:23 | #47

    A wonderful deed, a worthy cause, and a great organization. I donate to them monthly through my office (it comes straight out of my paycheck), and it’s the only cash I’m happy to see fly away!

  48. Apeiron
    February 19th, 2005 at 01:23 | #48

    How could I not participate?

  49. rdb
    February 19th, 2005 at 01:24 | #49

    10c a comment.
    Has anyone looked at donating dividend income? Telstra’s 13c/share would be $65 half-yearly for the 500 shares many people bought – direct deposit should be cheaper than the merchant fee on credit card donations – unless the banks waive that for charities. If the ATO accepted the registry dividend advice as the receipt, the charity could avoid the costs of raising a physical receipt.
    I though you were giving this one a bit more warning.

  50. February 19th, 2005 at 01:25 | #50

    Good work Pr Q. I support, with utilitarian exceptions, the humanitarian goal of conserving and extending of human life. Better plumbing and water-borne disease control is the most cost-effective way of furthering this goal.
    Put me down for 10c a comment, with the proviso that Pr Q must say something nice about Bill Gates & his company since this agency is doing more work in this field than anyone else.

  51. Ben Z
    February 19th, 2005 at 01:33 | #51

    Thanks for contributing to MSF!

  52. markus
    February 19th, 2005 at 02:03 | #52

    ok, so, (having read the Griffiths book recommended on CT recently) how do I, an ignorant and a fool when it comes to economics and foreign aid, figure out which causes to support? Any can recommend a book which looks into the short and long term effects of various measures?

  53. Yelling
    February 19th, 2005 at 02:16 | #53

    Well, maybe something good can come out of Lomberg’s book!

  54. February 19th, 2005 at 02:18 | #54

    Bill Gates Foundation is doing some marvellous work – and I understand its his stated goal to give away his wealth during his own lifetime

  55. Eric in TX
    February 19th, 2005 at 02:27 | #55

    Thanks so much!

  56. Derek
    February 19th, 2005 at 02:28 | #56

    This is a good idea

  57. Avery
    February 19th, 2005 at 02:59 | #57

    This is as good a time as any to tell you I thought your article in Journal of Political Philosophy on globalization (JPP 9 #1) was really good.

  58. February 19th, 2005 at 03:14 | #58

    Thank you, John.

  59. February 19th, 2005 at 04:14 | #59

    Well I’ll give a reasoned refutation of Richard’s position (message number 12 here), over at his blog later, but for now I’ll just flame him in the interests of the greater good.

    When I refute his position he will either object on utilitarian grounds, possibly concealed even from himself, or he will reject it on unreasonable grounds from not sharing the same fundamental premises as my own. If the former, he will discredit hos own position in the eyes of others, if the latter he will be adopting a position that elevates corporate collectivities over individual bases. That last leads to very fruitful enquiry, which often suggests pragmatic collective action but never justifies collective basis without at the same time generating inherent contradictions.

    Contra Marx, that will not destroy his tactical resistance but it too will discredit him in the eyes of others – if rational such there be.

    But he will, if he resists in that way, be approving my flaming him now because it serves the greater good of a flame war here in furtherance of squeezing funds out of that exploiter of the masses, JQ.

    That will help the deserving and stimulate my Schadenfreude.

    Remember: flame early, flame often.

  60. Emma
    February 19th, 2005 at 04:37 | #60

    Ok, I’ll play along. I’ll match the comments above this one, up to $100.

  61. cp
    February 19th, 2005 at 05:03 | #61

    61! Woot!

  62. peggy
    February 19th, 2005 at 05:39 | #62

    Go MSF

  63. February 19th, 2005 at 06:57 | #63

    This is fantastically generous. Thank you.

  64. Brian Zimmerman
    February 19th, 2005 at 07:16 | #64

    An very good organization. Time for me to send them a little money, too.

  65. Patrick
    February 19th, 2005 at 07:26 | #65

    Yes, a very good cause. Well done.

  66. February 19th, 2005 at 07:26 | #66

    I’ll gladly do something trivial to ensure that MSF get a donation 😉

  67. Ian Whitchurch
    February 19th, 2005 at 07:39 | #67

    Matthew R Simmons’ Thirteen Points of Light – an essential part of Energy Stability.

    Because, would you trust an oil executive to tell you the truth about the size of his reserves ? I wont, because I are one.

    Ian Whitchurch

  68. Ian Whitchurch
    February 19th, 2005 at 07:56 | #68

    Not my meeting – copied off HotCopper. Even if it’s a forgery, I reckon theres good advice in there.

    Meeting with Warren Buffett 28 Jan 05 – synthesized notes by topic
    On investing…

    How Warren spends his day:

    · Wakes up at 6:45, reads paper at home, often doesn’t make it into the office until after the market opens
    · No set schedule, WB hates having a full calendar

    · Always takes reading material home

    · Spends 80% of the day reading, 20% talking on the phone (he then said it might be more like 90/10)

    · Phone conversations are generally short

    Investment process:

    · In the past some things were cheap enough WB could decide in a day (this was somewhat a function of a time period where companies would sell at 2-3x earnings)
    · Decisions should be obvious to onlookers. You should be able to explain why you bought something in a paragraph.

    · “I don’t do DCF� (WB says he does a rough approximation in his mind)

    · Finding ideas is a function of cumulative knowledge over time. Something just comes along – usually an event takes place, like a good management team screwing up – that creates the opportunity (WB seems to imply here that his reading isn’t specifically targeted at finding ideas, but rather that ideas jump out at him as a natural consequence of vociferous reading)

    · You must be patient…good ideas tend to be clustered together, and may not come at even time intervals…when you don’t find anything for a while it can be irritating

    · WB isn’t bothered by missing something outside his circle of competence

    · Missing things inside the circle is nerve racking…examples include WMT, FNM

    Advice for new investors:

    · Don’t worry too much about your mistakes
    · Don’t learn too much from your mistakes

    o Don’t become Mark Twain’s frog that never sat again on a stove after being burned
    o BUT…never be willing to play a “fatal� game

    · Don’t confuse social progress with the chance to make money – look at airlines and autos for examples
    · Law degree is not essential, but good if you think it will help in your specific career

    · Learning to think like a lawyer is a valuable trait

    · Allocate even more of your day to reading than he does

    · Read lots of K’s and Q’s – there are no good substitutes for these

    · Read every page

    · Ask business managers the following question: “If you could buy the stock of one of your competitors, which one would you buy? If you could short, which one would you short?�

    · Always read source (primary) data rather than secondary data

    · If you are interested in one company, get reports for competitors. “You must act like you are actually going into that business, and if you were, you’d want to know what your competitors were doing.�

    Why more people don’t follow his advice:

    · The advice doesn’t promise enough…it’s not a “get rich quick� scheme, which is what a lot of other philosophies promise
    · WB mentioned that when he was really young he started investing using technical analysis, but found that he never could make any money with it

    · “I realized that technical analysis didn’t work when I turned the chart upside down and didn’t get a different answer.�

    · After seeing that charting didn’t work, he switched to Graham…it made sense and it worked

    What Warren reads:

    · Most of reading includes K’s, Q’s and 5 newspapers daily
    · Hasn’t found much worthwhile book reading outside of Graham and Fisher

    Advice to nonprofessional investors:

    · If you like spending 6-8 hours per week working on investments, do it
    · If you don’t, then dollar cost average into index funds. This accomplishes diversification across assets and time, two very important things.

    · “There is nothing wrong with a ‘know nothing’ investor who realizes it. The problem is when you are a ‘know nothing’ investor but you think you know something.�

    o NOTE: this is analogous to the concept of ‘metaknowledge’ that Mauboussin talked about…there’s also a Confucius quote on this
    Avoiding human misjudgment:

    · WB said repeatedly that it doesn’t take above a 125 IQ to do this…in fact, IQ over this amount is pretty much wasted. It’s not really about IQ.
    · Staying within circle of competence is paramount

    · When you are within the circle, keep these things in mind:

    o Don’t get in a hurry
    o You are better off not talking to others

    o Just keep looking until you find something (don’t give up)

    o Good ideas come in clumps – by time, by sector, by asset class

    Discount rates used for valuation:

    · Use a long term normalized interest rate for Treasuries…e.g. 6%
    · Don’t use different discount rates for different businesses…it doesn’t really matter what rate you use as long as you are being intellectually honest and conservative about future cash flows.

    · Only want one variable to compare in order to assess the viability of an investment – price versus value. If we allowed discount rates to change it would lead to more than one variable.

    · WB’s assessment of the risk of a company is baked into the probabilities for future cash flow scenarios of the company

    · “I don’t know what the true cost of capital is for a business unless we own it�

  69. Ian Whitchurch
    February 19th, 2005 at 08:07 | #69

    You have a thousand cubic feet of gas, congratulations. Now go get a real job.

    You have a million cubic feet of gas. Probably not worth connecting, even in Oklahoma. Go get a real job.

    You have a billion cubic feet of gas. Are you in the Lower 48 ? If so, congratulations. If not, go get a real job.

    You have a trillion cubic feet of gas. Shell has your phone number.

    You have a hundred trillion cubic feet of gas. You are Oman.

  70. February 19th, 2005 at 08:17 | #70

    While we’re feeling charitable, one thing I’ve often wondered about on those “celebrity gameshow specials” such as the recent Eddie-thon on Channel 9, how fussy the TV channels are over what charities they will support. I wonder if they’d be happy to have their celebrity extracting money for MSF, for instance.

    I wonder just how politically anodyne you have to be…

  71. Steve
    February 19th, 2005 at 08:31 | #71

    Keep up the good work. Also, like the new bloglook.

  72. Sandals
    February 19th, 2005 at 08:52 | #72


  73. February 19th, 2005 at 09:13 | #73

    good on you John.

  74. Ian Whitchurch
    February 19th, 2005 at 09:28 | #74

    Another short comment for a buck

  75. Travis
    February 19th, 2005 at 09:41 | #75


  76. rdb
    February 19th, 2005 at 10:12 | #76

    In essence, the philosophies of the New Right are based on a recognition of the value of the individual and an abhorrence of anything that stands in the way of the individual, such as unions, bureaucracies, taxation, regulation or other individuals.
    I can perhaps best illustrate this by example. We favour the introduction of university fees, although I forget why, because obviously only the wealthier type of individual will be in attendance. … We favour the idea of people working for the dole because it provides a sense of dignity for the people for whom the people on the dole are working, and it gives the unemployed an opportunity to work without contributing to anything approaching a wages explosion. … and we question the alleged ‘right’ of single mothers to benefit from the state. If we start giving away to one group, pretty soon we’ll have taxpayers’ money being used to help bloody near anyone who needs help! This defeats the very purpose of taxation, which is to find ways of reducing taxation.

    From An Independant View, A COMPLETE dagg, John Clark

  77. Tom
    February 19th, 2005 at 11:27 | #77

    worth a comment

  78. Ian Whitchurch
    February 19th, 2005 at 12:14 | #78

    cash for comment. All the best media do it

  79. Ian Whitchurch
    February 19th, 2005 at 12:22 | #79

    Two dogs walk into a bar.

  80. Irant
    February 19th, 2005 at 12:25 | #80

    Me wise magic.

  81. February 19th, 2005 at 12:38 | #81

    I am a lefty ditto head.

  82. Matthew Klugman
    February 19th, 2005 at 12:51 | #82

    Thanks for doing this John – I’ve been meaning to organise some yearly donations so this is a good chance – I’ll co-sponsor with 10cents a donation up to $100.

    ps I see your speaking at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas – I look forward to seeing you there.

  83. Fiona Kerr
    February 19th, 2005 at 13:02 | #83

    Well, this is kind of a cool idea, but I don’t really get it. Think I’m about to have a heated argument with my Matty (see above) where my puritan Presbyterian instincts kick in with a “let your right hand not know what the left is doing” quote. Or to be blunt, if you want to give $100 to Medicins Sans Frontiers why don’t you bloody give it without linking to the number of comments on a website?. Guess it’s still better than not doing it so thanks John….

  84. February 19th, 2005 at 13:07 | #84

    Your generosity has my utmost respect. I’d have chosen exactly the same charity/fund.

  85. reader from nowra
    February 19th, 2005 at 13:08 | #85

    you rock, Daddy Q.
    This is a nice site to avoid doing homework with: i might pledge money later when i have a job.

  86. guinsPen
    February 19th, 2005 at 13:18 | #86

    mindful mindless minion of blair

  87. Tom Davies
    February 19th, 2005 at 13:24 | #87

    If there was a charity which spent its money directly on reducing greenhouse emissions, would you donate to it?

  88. Nikopol
    February 19th, 2005 at 13:52 | #88

    Interesting exercise in raising money…

  89. February 19th, 2005 at 13:56 | #89

    Bring back DDT! We can always keep the birds (whatever birds DDT was supposed to have killed) in zoos until the mosquitos are dead.

  90. John Quiggin
    February 19th, 2005 at 14:35 | #90

    Can someone check if trackbacks are working now? They should be!

  91. February 19th, 2005 at 15:32 | #91

    I’ll link to you and ping a trackback. Thanks for doing this!

  92. Ken D.
    February 19th, 2005 at 15:33 | #92

    All for a good cause.

  93. February 19th, 2005 at 15:37 | #93

    Well done John.

  94. Angela
    February 19th, 2005 at 16:18 | #94

    MSF – a very worthy cause. I hope you reach your full target.

  95. February 19th, 2005 at 16:44 | #95

    This is an interesting way of giving to charity. You could have just quietly sent in a check, but doing it this way not only makes us lusers feel like we are doing something charitable just by taking 60 seconds to write a comment on someone else’s blog, but raises the profile of MSF throughout the social network, implicitly spreading awareness and goodwill and enticing additional donations.

  96. February 19th, 2005 at 16:47 | #96

    Just sent you another trackback, John (see comment 90). It doesn’t appear to have shown up, though.

  97. am
    February 19th, 2005 at 16:53 | #97

    my 2c

  98. February 19th, 2005 at 17:23 | #98

    You could always disconnect your spam blocking for this thread, JQ.

    Or did you already do that?

    BTW, apart from the overstatement and tone, the stuff about the purpose of taxation being to reduce taxation is spot on. The function of government ought to include engineering out the need for it, as well as reducing it.

    The flaws come from reducing government without eliminating the need, at least in step but better still in advance.

    You cannot infer any ethical justification for government and its attendant burdens like taxation from the mere fact that things would otherwise – ceteris paribus – be worse. Government is itself at fault for creating and maintaining that situation, apart from some minor cases which do not extend to an absolute justification.

    Those cases, of course, are covered by the “…and other individuals” bit. It’s not so much man’s inhumanity to man as man’s human fallibility to man, though; a case of never impute to conspiracy what can be adequately explained by incompetence (or, cockup before conspiracy).

  99. February 19th, 2005 at 17:35 | #99

    There is no reason to “bring back” DDT since it has been continuously used against malaria since the 40s. However, in many places it is no longer effective because of resistance. The global fund is buying many a lot of insecticide treated nets which should be more effective than using DDT.

  100. Ian Whitchurch
    February 19th, 2005 at 17:59 | #100

    If I owned Hell and Texas, I’d live in Hell and rent out Texas

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