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[Cross-posted at The Left Coaster.]

I am speaking, of course, of the legendary Atrios of Eschaton, a man once said to be Duncan Black, which turned out to be not true at all, Duncan Black was a great economist.  I mention the trifling incident for its singular event of having me irritated with the man, for greatness such as his should never be cloaked, and at first I thought at last his anonymity was gone.

It’s also a basely irrational human need to know a guy’s name, I dunno, like Tom Robbins in Shawshank Redemption, right, the other inmates give him a fresh fish tough time for asking who it was the guard had killed the night before.  "A man should have a name," he said.

Especially a great man, Jedi writer and blogger, gifted political organizer, master media critic, excellent social scientist.

I was thinking this morning how life is so rarely static, things seem to either flow progressively or regressively.  How difficult it can be for us tiny humans to somehow positively change things when the maelstrom is so dauntingly negative all around us.

I used to addictively prowl Eschaton’s comment boards in 2003 when 20 entries were common.  In those darkest of times Atrios bravely lit up his blog with all his talent and soul and I watched three commenters chat, rant, talk and grow out of those screens into three incredible bloggers themselves: Athenae, Natasha, and Holden.

Atrios, along with everything else, has been a precious change agent of incalculable worth when our people most desperately needed it, a seed crystal of growth and hope that has my eternal gratitude.

The base got whipped by Harry Reid and the blue dogs last year, so hits were down, Eschaton is having a fund drive.  How glad I was to help.  Where would we be without Atrios?  I truly do not like to think about it, and utterly dread the possibility that someday he might be gone.

Originally posted to paradox on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 05:38 AM PST.

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