- Unsupervised Learning
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 (ME-slur) 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. NOTE: Other thoughts on immortality here.
In fact, it’s less of a project and more like an avatar. 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, 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.
Interests and activities
I love modeling the world.
My main passion in life reduces to the following:
Building a model of human flourishing, as well as frameworks for increasing it.
Said differently, I enjoy finding patterns in how people pursue meaning and happiness, constructing models for how said meaning works, and then creating, discussing, and sharing possible frameworks for improving it.
I read 3-6 books a month, averaging around 50-60 a year.
As for activities, I most enjoy cross-discipline reading that builds towards this type of reality modeling. Specifically, I read a lot about evolutionary biology/psychology, existentialism, logic, rhetoric, dialectic, history, sociology, statistics, technology, politics, and security.
I consider this to be the most beautiful website on the internet.
I have a strong love of for art, and design, and I get extreme pleasure from typography, data visualization, graphic design, and pretty much anything that’s visually interesting or beautiful.
As for the creative side of art, I am looking to transition later in life to painting and music.
Some of these are due for updates I’m afraid.
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 don’t believe this detracts at all from human meaning.
My beliefs are heavily grounded in Evolutionary Biology and Psychology, and I believe, fundamentally and from a non-human-experience standpoint, that we are biological creatures without free will. Our goals, desires, flaws, and strengths can all be traced to evolution’s deep programming within all of us.
I call this General Absuridism.
But while this is true for underlying, or absolute, truth, we as humans experience the world differently. I believe this disconnect between our experience and reality is what causes the confusion around free will, criminal justice, inequality, and so many other topics.
I believe our best path forward is for people to accept this dual nature of our human existence—i.e., the curious reality that we’re simultaneously unfree atomic sludge and wonderful fountains of love and creativity—and find ways to harness the fruits of each extreme.
Bertrand Russell and Sam Harris are probably the biggest influences on my thinking regarding reality.
This ability to acknowledge the truth of various extremes, and find a happy balance along the spectrum for any given situation, will be the key to our flourishing as a species.
I’m a Star Trek liberal, specifically STTNG.
As you might expect from the above, I believe in balance in politics as well. The most crisp way I can put things, after many decades on the planet, is that I believe in achieving progressive ends via conservative means.
Evolution rewards compliance with its programming.
I believe we need to respect the structures and limitations given to us by evolution, which have the power to make us happy or miserable, while conversely and simultaneously knowing when to ignore those primal elements within ourselves and push to evolve.
Once again, the key is balance.
You can find my most popular content here.
So that’s me being real about myself on the internet, and encouraging you to do the same. If you appreciated that, or you have a question, or a comment—or if you just want to say hello—please do so. You can find me on Twitter or reach me via email.
I like hearing from other humans on their own journey. Until then, I’m glad I share the planet with you, and I hope you are well.
Nov 18, 2020 — This page has been updated dozens of times over the 15 years it’s existed. The latest one being the version you see here, where I separated out the /about page from the /media page, and rewrote much of the content.
Trust me when I tell you that you should write one of these for yourself. It’s as difficult as it is enlightening.