Palm art

Independent journalism 1; Fake boobs, 0

You may have heard of Chris Allbritton — my journalist friend, who’s collecting donations at his blog Back to Iraq so he can go back to Iraq and deliver truly independent war reporting. He’ll be relying solely on the money his donors give him (which includes me), so he’ll have no editors pulling his strings, limiting his space, or dumbing down his work.

Here’s the fun part. About a month ago, Chris wrote an anguished post on his blog, noting that after a few months online, he’d raised less money than the woman who has set up a blog soliciting donations to pay for breast implants. She had $3626.18; he had only $1803.71. (Over at the Hector Rottweiler Journal blog, they called this ratio the
“Philistinism Quotient”,
and calculated it to be 201%.)

But then the tide turned. Chris got written up at Wired News, thousands of people started reading his stuff daily, and now the donations are pouring in. As of this weekend, he’d topped $4,300 — thus neatly edging out the fake-boob fund.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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