I’ll start by saying that if you’ve not tried to summarize yourself in this way—i.e., via some sort of “about me” page—you should try it. It requires a considerable degree of introspection, and is more difficult and interesting than it seems. My name is Daniel Miessler (mē’slûr) and I’m an information security professional and writer born, raised, and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I started this site in 1999 as a platform for collecting technical knowledge. Today it is my most important life project, with over 2,500 essays, posts, tutorials, articles, and other types of content. In fact, it’s less of a project and more like an avatar, or even a child. It is where I put both my time and my (weak) hopes for some measure of immortality. While most see their websites as a place to release pressure via rant, or to project a presence, I use mine as a means of organizing everything I have learned and want to learn, and then as a way to share those things with others.
My main intellectual passion in life reduces nicely to the following: 1. Learning interesting things about how the world works, capturing them, articulating them, and documenting them. 2. Solving real-world problems using this organized knowledge. 3. Sharing and discussing with others both the models and how they can be used to affect change.
Said differently, I enjoy finding patterns in things, constructing models for how the world works, and then discussing, sharing, and using that information to improve the world in some way. As for activities, I mostly enjoy cross-discipline reading and writing that furthers my reality-modeling passions mentioned above. Specifically, I read a lot about evolutionary biology/psychology, existentialism, logic, rhetoric, dialectic, history, sociology, statistics, technology, politics, and security. I also have a strong passion for creative and artistic things. I get extreme pleasure from typography, data visualization, graphic design, and pretty much anything that’s visually interesting or beautiful. I am looking at getting more into art creation of my own, focussed around drawing diagrams, cartoons, and possibly even actual expressive art pieces. I read a lot—mostly in the topics above—but I do enjoy fiction occasionally. When I do it’s usually classics, fantasy, and sci-fi. When I read a good book I capture it on my Reading page. I also maintain lists of my Projects and my Ideas, if you’d like to look at those. If anything, I hope they inspire you to capture and explore your own life in a similar way.
I am an atheist who takes an Absurdist approach to life, including the search for meaning and our lack of free will. In short, there is no god, we don’t have free will, and there is no intrinsic meaning in the universe—but I see this as a starting point rather than an end. Rather than recoil from this, people should accept it honestly and rejoice in the potential beauty of human experience. In doing so we can create our own meaning structure based on shared conscious experience rather than fantasy. In my opinion, morality is not about finding a pre-existing truth, but instead about discovering the best way to conduct ourselves in order to reduce suffering and increase happiness for conscious creatures (Russell, Harris).
Peoples’ lists are full of insights about them, and for that reason they’re good to include on a page like this. They help people find common interests. Here are some of mine.
So that’s a bit about me. If you have a question, a comment, or if you just want to say hello, you can find me on Twitter, on GitHub, or via email. If you want to look around, here’s a good place to start. I hope you find something here worth your time, and that you have a good day.
CREATED: MARCH 2004 | UPDATED: DECEMBER 2016