The man who for many years was the real person behind Slate’s Today’s Papers has died in a scuba accident.
This is being widely reported elsewhere, but I feel the obligation to comment and note Shuger’s passing. As for many in the blogosphere, for me Slate was required reading for years. Even during the dark Interregnum of Slate’s flirtation with a subscription model, there was one feature that was still reliably available to the unwashed masses: Today’s Papers.
It was (and still is), an excellent feature; a tribute to the idea that length does not guarantee quality, and that often in brevity lies brilliance. As Kinsley notes in his remembrance, Shuger demonstrated an admirable talent to turn what could have been a deadly dull list of facts and citations into one of Slate’s most readable features.
I did not know the man, but I knew his work. And even with that tenous connection, I can say with assurance that he will be missed.