About

Daniel Miessler Avatar

My name is Daniel Miessler (\mē'slûr\) and I'm from the San Francisco Bay Area and work in the field of Information Security.

Concept

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 do so. It requires a considerable amount of self-discovery, and is more difficult than it seems.

I started this site in 1999 as a platform for collecting technical knowledge. Today it is my most important life project, with over 6,500 posts, articles, arguments, and other types of content. In fact, it's less a project and more like an avatar, or even a child. It is where I put both my time and my (currently weak) hopes for immortality.

While most see their websites as a place to release pressure through ranting, or to project a presence, I see my site as nothing less than an extension of myself in digital form. I use it as a means of organizing everything I have learned and want to learn, and then as a way to share that same content with others.

My interests, and therefore content on the site, drift towards the following:

Structure

You'll find the common sections here that most sites have, such as an about page (here), a contact page, and the blog, but much of the site's content is in other sections, as described below:

The site logo was redone in 2012 and is a binary tree. The tree symbolizes constant growth, and the binary refers to logic, science, and reason, which help us mature as a species.

In sum, my site is where I keep everything that matters to me. It supplements my ability to create, acquire, organize, process, and share understanding, wonder, fascination, beauty, and love, which I think are the best pursuits in this life.

Worldview

Here's the short version of my perspective on life:

What this worldview provides me is a framework for letting the bad roll off me like rain on a windshield, while letting the good soak in deeply. And I get both of those without sacrificing truth. Let me show you.

  1. If a friend lies to me, or says something that hurts my feelings, I see it as an inevitable playing out of the universe. I explain to the person what they did, hopefully get an apology, and I move on as if it never happened.
  2. If a friend says or does something kind, I absorb that positive energy and smile deeply. Do I suddenly forget that they lack free will and that this too was just a configuration of the universe? No, of course not. But I set that aside in order to experience the illusion's gifts, as they are all we have.

Other models of the universe lack one or more features of this approach. For example, if someone you love dies and you're comforted by a religious person, they might tell you:

You'll see them again in heaven…

While that may seem nice, this belief comes at a price. Believing in an afterlife tends to come bundled with all manner of harmful thoughts, beliefs, and practices. So while the belief in the supernatural may have a few benefits, I'll happily take my memories of the person when they were alive and go on my way.

Now, one may say in response:

Ah, but aren't you doing the same thing when you embrace the illusion and enjoy feelings of happiness, love, etc., when you “know” that those things are illusory?

Good question, but no. The difference is that I know that I'm participating in an illusion, and I never forget it. Once a situation arises that requires me to consider the true state of reality, I am back in a sober state of mind. So:

  1. I embrace the beautiful parts of life fully, like a child experiencing them for the first time, every time.
  2. But I always know that I'm doing so from within the illusion, and that truth (our lack of true choice, responsibility) guides me in deciding how others should be treated.

My perspective on life is described above, and as I said, I do not subscribe to or embrace any religion or structured philosophy. That being true, I do find that the principles of Secular Humanism to be quite strong.

In my view, these basics—my embrace of the illusion, Russell's reason and compassion, the secular humanist tenets, and Harris's argument for science as a means to pursue morality—serve as strong foundation for living in this world.

Collections

Peoples' favorites are full of insights about them, and for that reason they're good to include on a page like this. It's a great conversation starter, and helps people find common interests.

One of the things I do on my site (poorly right now) is maintain a list of these collections—or a collection of these lists—so I can refer to them when needed.

Ideas

One of my primary life metrics is the creation of ideas. Not all of them are possible for me to pursue, or even desirable to pursue, but I capture them anyway.

Have a look:

[ /ideas ]

Books

I enjoy reading, which would make sense given my worldview. When experiences are all you have, it makes sense that you'd want to have as many as possible.

[ /books ]

[ Follow me on Goodreads ]

Movies

I'm not any sort of major movie person, but I do enjoy them. I have been trying to get more into quality movies, e.g., top picks from movie festivals and such, rather than wasting time on mainstream stuff.

I'm still working on getting the list going.

[ /movies ]

Quotes

I am highly attracted to aphorisms, which is basically what most quotes are; the concept of distilled wisdom resonates strongly with me. I've got a pretty solid list going:

[ /quotes ]

Music

Music magnifies my life experience. Whether positive or negative, it provides an energy that reminds me how lucky I am to be alive, and that I should appreciate this reality.

In general I am partial to Metal, Techno, Classical, Classical Guitar, and Indy Rock (whatever that means -- think 'The XX'). Music is big for me.

[ /music ]

Jokes

Laughter is one of the more generous gifts of life, and a good joke is something to be carefully archived and respected. I've a fairly solid collection going.

[ /jokes ]

Foods

This one I've mostly added for completeness, but now that it's added I think it's a good idea to build it out.

[ /foods ]

Humor

I like to laugh, and my preferred style seems to include a good amount of irony. British humor is one of my favorite types, with Gervais probably being my flagship.

Charlie the Unicorn, Arrested Development, Seinfeld, LOLCats, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Socially Awkward Penguin, Dilbert, Ricky Gervais, Success Kid, XKCD, Key and Peele, Pulp Fiction, Monty Python, Robot Chicken, The Office (British), Family Guy, Laughing Babies, Daniel Tosh

[ /humor ]

Restaurants

It's highly unfortunate when you are enjoying the company of some friends (new or old) who also travel, and you're unable to remember the names of your favorite restaurants in various places.

[ /restaurants ]

Bucket List

Some think it's depressing, but not me because I don't plan on dying!

[ /bucketlist ]

Lifestyle

Here's I'll try to cover some other areas of my life, including activities, technologies I use, etc.

Activities

Here are the primary ways I spend my time:

Design

I really appreciate good design in the things I purchase and use, and this crosses into every area of my life. Wardrobe, technology, furniture—whatever. I like things to be well put together. Other good examples of this include a frightening level of obsession with typography, sites like Apartment Therapy, etc.

I'd like to say it's purely because high quality items tend to last longer (which is true), but the reality is that I enjoy being surrounded by beauty. It's like going into a bookstore; it inspires me to be a better person.

Technology

To the design point, I like technology to be not only functional but also attractive. But not just attractive…elegant. I have tried to use Android phones many times, for example, and have been unable to because of the horrifically designed hardware. Squishy buttons, cheap plastic, hardware buttons that don't behave consistently—all these things are like a perpetual screaming in my ear.

So I'm an Apple person (for hardware), while being a Google person when it comes to vision. Or, another way to say that is that I'm a Google person, but I'll be using Apple products while being so.

Setup

For an overview of the various tools I use, please check out my setup page.

[ /setup ]

Contact

So that's a bit about me. If you have a question, a comment, or if you just want to say hello, reach out to me. Until then, I hope you find something here worth your time.



If you’d like to connect or respond, please reach out via Twitter, using the comments below, or by email. Also consider subscribing to the site via RSS and checking out my other content.

Thank you for visiting.

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