Appearing in debate for the first time on national television, Vice Presidential candidate James Stockdale's first words to a curious and somewhat befuddled electorate were, "Who am I, and why am I here?" I feel obliged to offer the same greeting to those who read or hear my eulogy for Thai McGreivy, since, I only "knew" Thai within the relatively obscure and abstracted confines of the blogosphere. Even then, I know there are others who developed longer and deeper relationships with Thai than I, so it is with some reticence that I offer my thoughts.
Like a number of Thai's cyberspace acquaintances and friends, I first encountered Thai on the Sudden Debt web blog. There, we often exchanged observations about the economy, finance, and other related matters. Later, Thai became a fairly frequent visitor to this blog, and though, at first, his passion for fractals, and unerring tendency to apply that cornerstone of chaos theory to such seemingly disparate phenomenon as Sarah Palin and the European banking crisis vexed me, I soon found conversing with Thai unerringly worthwhile and pleasurable, not just because he was clever, learned, and curious, but because he managed to convey a sincere sense of warmth and playfulness even as he leveled incisive criticism. As I'm sure many know, this is no mean feat, since, among other pitfalls, miscalculations of tone on internet fora are fiendishly easy to achieve, and the fallout from such misunderstandings too often lead to all manner of unpleasant blowups. But Thai's charm was such that no matter how decimated at his hands my argument may have been- and this was rare by the way- nary was a ripple seen or felt on the surface of our friendship. Well, I certainly hope Thai thought of me as a friend, because that is how I will always remember Thai.