She was a wonderful writer, an amazing analyst, teacher of aspiring ubernerds, a delightful, tart wit. She will be terribly missed.
I am struck, for the second time in just a few months, by the odd intimacy of this medium. The newspapers are full of joyful and terrible tidings. Celebrities die. It washes over me.
When Paul Krugman won his Nobel, I was oddly euphoric. I've never met the man, or even corresponded with him, but he felt like somebody I know, somebody I talk to, because he participates so actively in this endless sprawled-out conversation that I'm involved in. You sometimes see these images of website clustering, how neighborhoods form, cyberglobs of dense interlinkage. When Krugman won a Nobel, it felt like a kid from my neighborhood had hit the big time, and I was proud.
I've never met or corresponded with Tanta, though I have long been a fan. But this doesn't feel like the death of a distant celebrity. The intimacy of the medium cuts both ways.
Tanta came out of nowhere and contributed greatly to the public understanding of housing economics. She described the mortgage industry in amazing detail, without ever being dry or dull. (Is that even possible?) A quirky, brilliant voice has disappeared. Her silence will be loud in the cacophony.
I am sad.
|Steve Randy Waldman — Monday December 1, 2008 at 5:51am||permalink|