Contact information

Please be considerate in contacting me about job opportunities. As much as I need a real job, I have seen way too much bullshit in this space. And I guess this is insufficiently obvious for some people: My decision to make contact information publicly available does not, in itself, constitute a solicitation for opportunities to part with my hard-earned money. Online service providers of various sorts should see here.

If you have found your way here from my ridesharing pages, please understand that I do not offer a jitney service and I would not be cheap if I did.[1]

Payment information is here.

It is inappropriate to address me as “Mr. Benfell.” I have a Ph.D. Appropriate forms of address are “Dr. Benfell” or “David” or “Dave.”

ORCID iD icon

I grew up mostly on Ramaytush, Ohlone, and Muwekma territory (San Francisco). In California, I last lived in Graton Rancheria and Southern Pomo territory (Graton), before that, Ohlone, Tamyen, Muwekma, and Awaswas territory (near Lexington Reservoir, Los Gatos). I believe I initially lived in 𐓏𐒰𐓓𐒰𐓓𐒷 π’Όπ“‚π“Šπ’» 𐓆𐒻𐒿𐒷 𐓀𐒰^𐓓𐒰^(Osage) and Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee) territory (Baldwin Borough, Pennsylvania) but have moved to 𐓏𐒰𐓓𐒰𐓓𐒷 π’Όπ“‚π“Šπ’» 𐓆𐒻𐒿𐒷 𐓀𐒰^𐓓𐒰^(Osage) territory (Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania)[2]

Social Networks

I have and have had accounts on various social networks. But companies that run these platforms face a dilemma following Donald Trump’s abuse, and I support their long-overdue decisions to ban him.[3] However, there is a larger problem in that such platforms also function as public squares where ideas need to be aired,[4] but where the companies solve the problem of abusive speech with artificial idiocy.[5] I have now run afoul of this a few times, even on utterly anodyne replies.

Google Plus had no appeal process whatsoever. Twitter’s appeal appears to be to the very same artificial idiot that flagged my post in the first place. LinkedIn’s censorship constrains political speech—if you find an account for me here, they have failed to follow my instruction to close the account and I am now treating all communications from LinkedIn as spam.[6]

The very same arrogance that was a factor driving me away from California[7] now also compels me to curtail my social media presence, as I simply have no reliable way to avoid running afoul of the artificial idiots that now police these networks.

Look for me instead on Not Housebroken and The Irregular Bullshit. I am on Mastodon as

Mailing Address(es)

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Mail should generally be sent to the following address, addressed in the following format (I’m told this is critical):

David Benfell
10 Old Clairton Road
Suite 12A PMB 197
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-3933

Sebastopol, California

I no longer live in the Sebastopol area. I am maintaining this mailing address for now and mail is forwarded from this address weekly.

David Benfell
321 South Main Street #12
Sebastopol, CA 95472

Telephone and Messaging

The Verizon number is signed up with Signal. Unfortunately, I had to stop using Signal as a default messaging app because it lacks the ability to permanently block abusive senders. I still have the app and you can use it; however, I do not accept “sealed sender” messages from non-contacts or people with whom I have not shared my profile.

Do not call me unless I have you in my contacts as your call will be automatically declined. I dislike phone calls anyway; I detest them with strangers. And I spend much of my time driving—I do not welcome more unpredictability than I already encounter on the road. I much prefer written communication.

I am also on iMessage and FaceTime as and by the Verizon and Boost Mobile phone numbers.

Do not use Facebook chat applications, either Messenger or WhatsApp, to contact me. Facebook exists to compromise privacy. Its untrustworthiness is well-established. I have deleted Telegram due to a number of issues, including privacy and security.[8]

All numbers are registered on both the federal and Pennsylvania Do Not Call lists.

Do not attempt to call me unless I have your contact information.
Carrier Handle/phone number Notes
Boost Infinite +1-412-228-0202 Probably the best number to call me on, this number had been deprecated but has won a reprieve with this carrier. Boost Infinite is a mobile virtual network operator, using its own network, AT&T, and T-Mobile. I’m hoping this, in addition to Verizon Wireless, will improve my mobile data coverage.
Ooma (VOIP) +1-415-870-4149 This number is my one remaining link to one of my favorite places in the world, Marin County, California. My intention is to make it my home phone. When that happens, I expect this number to usable on many of my devices.
Ooma (VOIP) +1-814-983-6333 My intention is to move to northwest Pennsylvania in 2025. This will be my phone number there, but it should now be operational, at least when I’m at home.
Verizon Wireless +1-707-824-1194 Use this number for Signal or voice calls. This number is also on my Apple Watch (Boost does not support the Apple Watch).
Keybase Encrypted chat. Allegedly, this will work even if you do not have Keybase installed but I do not know the security or privacy ramifications if you do. I would suggest installing it and generating a keypair. It’s meant to overcome the user-unfriendliness of GnuPG although you might be able to generate more secure keys if you use the latter skillfully. Please note that this account was reset on December 29, 2023.
Session (ask for it in person) Session appears to be an improvement on Signal and other methods in that it is decentralized and does not rely on a phone number for identification.[9] I am accordingly not making my Session identification public as this would be an avenue for adversaries to engage in network analysis, undermining privacy. I may share a Session ID via difficult to trace means. Anticipate that there will be some lag in communication as it relies on blockchain.
Things I shouldn’t have to explain, but, jeez, I guess I do
  1. If I do not recognize your number, either because you have caller ID blocked or because you are not in my contacts, your call will be blocked or declined. This page is chock full of alternative means of contact. Choose another.
  2. If I screen your call, this is your opportunity to identify yourself properly and to state what the call is about. Follow fucking directions.
  3. Legitimate callers will not have a problem identifying themselves.
  4. Failing to identify yourself does not make me more likely to answer your call on subsequent attempts.

Now, can somebody please explain why that’s so hard?


I’m letting Proton Mail handle my email now. SMTP is an old protocol that’s been tweaked to resist spam; the various measures one must take to be trusted as not a spammer are just too difficult and I’m no longer running my own server anyway. So all my current email addresses are on Proton Mail in one form or another. You may find old university email addresses for me in various places; to the extent they still work, they should forward to current addresses, but I doubt any of them still work.

Because technology companies and even some online pharmacies have proven ambivalent about abortion rights and about protecting the privacy of those who seek abortions,[10] it is necessary, as cryptography advocates have argued for a very long time, to make cryptography normal, so that when people use cryptographic means of messaging, their messages do not stand out.

In my own way, I will be nagging you to embrace cryptography. Please go to Proton Mail. They make it all ridiculously easy.

My emails are now cryptographically signed and accompanied by an attachment with my key. I use with the following ECC (Curve25519) keys:

Email encryption:



Contact encryption (not for email):



I actually do not have the private keys to those IDs which were generated for me by Proton Mail. So I can’t use those keys outside the Proton ecosystem.

So yeah, kinda of course, I have another key (0xAEB564C5):



It will only be a little awkward if you happen to send me an email encrypted with the latter key. All my devices (okay, not my watch, I don’t think) should be set up for this.

  1. [1]Drivers should be able to earn a living and costs of operation go far beyond the trips themselves, including downtime and trips without passengers. As such, I believe appropriate compensation for drivers using their own cars would be four times the Internal Revenue Service mileage rate (In 2024, 67¢ per mile, which, multiplied by four, comes to $2.68 per mile) plus $25 per hour. This is not meant to be competitive with existing services. It is meant to be just.
  2. [2]Native Land Digital, “Native Land,” n.d.,
  3. [3]Margi Murphy, “Facebook, Instagram and Twitter lock Donald Trump’s accounts after praise for Capitol Hill rioters,” Telegraph, January 7, 2021,; Tony Romm and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Trump banned from Facebook indefinitely, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says,” Washington Post, January 7, 2021,; Nitasha Tiku, Tony Romm, and Craig Timberg, “Twitter bans Trump’s account, citing risk of further violence,” Washington Post, January 8, 2021,
  4. [4]David Benfell, “The public square of the Internet,” Not Housebroken, June 6, 2019,
  5. [5]David Benfell, “The paradox of free speech and censorship,” Not Housebroken, November 1, 2019,; David Benfell, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining,” Not Housebroken, January 13, 2020,
  6. [6]David Benfell, “On profanity,” Not Housebroken, October 11, 2021,
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Farewell, California, I’ll miss you and I won’t miss you,” Not Housebroken, April 9, 2019,
  8. [8]Sebastian Meineck, “Five Reasons You Should Delete Telegram from Your Phone,” Vice, November 25, 2020,
  9. [9]The problem here is that these networks can be traced, and activity used to build “behavior models” that can inform surprisingly accurate guesses as to what people are doing. This threat is serious and was known long before this article, even if it is not quite as alarming as the headline: Technische Universität Darmstadt, “Popular Messenger Services – Such As WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram – Are Extremely Insecure,” SciTechDaily, September 20, 2020,
  10. [10]Meghan Bobrowsky, “Google Says Maps, Searches Will Identify Clinics That Provide Abortions,” Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2022,; Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022,; Jennifer Gollan, “Websites Selling Abortion Pills Are Sharing Sensitive Data With Google,” ProPublica, January 18, 2023,; Poppy Noor, “Google targets low-income US women with ads for anti-abortion pregnancy centers, study shows,” Guardian, February 7, 2023,; Runa Sandvik, “How US police use digital data to prosecute abortions,” TechCrunch, January 27, 2023,; Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert, “Facebook and Google are handing over user data to help police prosecute abortion seekers,” Business Insider, March 4, 2023,