Welcome! I'm Tim McCormack, a software developer, father, hacker, and nature enthusiast living in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA.
I enjoy reading up on and exploring software design and development, biology, math, philosophy, psychology, computer science, information security, and interaction design. Besides the academic fields, I also enjoy climbing, hacking, hiking, biking, photography, and breaking things open to see what makes them tick.
Pages of possible interest:
- Blog, infrequently updated (but that's what feeds are for)
- Contact information
- PGP key for secure communications
About this site
The domain name Brain on Fire is a reference to those rare moments of enlightenment and insight when I feel that I have unlocked some mystery of the world or broken through to a new level of understanding. It doesn't have to be an original idea; perhaps I've just come across a new way of communicating something.
...this doesn't happen often, but some of these moments turned into blog posts, and I wanted to share them. (Most of the blog posts don't live up to that standard, of course.)
I actually originally had three blogs at the current domain: The main blog, one for my day-to-day life, and one for computer tips. At some point I tired of administering three separate WordPress blogs and merged them into the main one.
Please bear in mind that I started this blog in 2005 when I was 21 years old, so some of the older posts might be pretty cringeworthy! Caveat lector to the archive-binger.
I'm just incrementally adding stuff from my feed reader to here; it's not particularly well-organized yet.
Personal blogs (tech)
Predictably, most of the blogs I follow are tech-related.
- Waldo Jaquith: Technology, Virginia and US politics, open government
- Aldo Cortesi: Infosec and software
- Cybergibbons: Infosec: Reverse engineering, hardware, alarm systems
- Dan Luu: "A blog about programming; ¾ technical content, ¼ musings about the industry"
- fuzzy notepad: Software and related topics (mostly web, game dev)
- Chromakode: Software, design, life
- discrete blogarithm: "the personal blog of yan/@bcrypt" - infosec etc.
- Writing (Rachel by the Bay): "Software, technology, sysadmin war stories, and more."
- lcamtuf's blog: Life, infosec, software
- Aral Balkan: Privacy and ethical design
- cemerick: Software, society
- Zenhack: About code
- Matthew Garrett: Infosec, both hardware and software
- Prosthetic Conscience (Jason F. McBrayer): Social media, sysadminning, life
- Technomancy (Phil Hagelberg): Software development, particularly Lua and Clojure
- Audrey Eschright: Writer, community organizer, and software developer
- Dave Rupert
- Read the Tea Leaves: Software and other dark arts, by Nolan Lawson
- /dev/lawyer: Kyle E. Mitchell on law, technology, and the space between
- Copyleft Currents: Heather Meeker on open source software licensing
Some also have tech stuff, but it's not the main reason I follow them.
- Idiot Joy Showland: Sarcastic political commentary (mostly UK)
- Things of Interest (qntm): Software and fiction
- Editor: Myself: [defunct?] Hossein Derakhshan's take on life — after 6 years of social coma
- A Working Library: "Reading and writing from Mandy Brown"
- Idle Words: Life (often very funny), software (also funny)
- Patterns in the Void: Cryptography, anarchy, travel
- Shtetl-Optimized: Quantum computing, politics