David Benjamin is a Brooklyn-based journalist and novelist who writes  on technology issues, usually from the Luddite point of view.

Death of the News

When troubadour Don McLean referred to rock 'n' roll great Buddy Holly's death on February 3, 1959, as “the day the music died,” he was crafting a metaphor about a period of remarkable innocence and idealism in American history. McLean's lyric came to me last week while I watched, again, a movie set in the…

Who Are Those Guys?

The economy is still sluggish, and we know who to blame — sort of. We can't quite put our finger on the culprit. Deep within the greatest economic system ever devised, there lurks a gnawing parasite that devours the nourishment of capitalism from within. Every day, almost complacently, our captains of industry invoke this dark…

The Unattainable Computer

Long before Steve Jobs founded {complink 379|Apple Inc.}, and even before Bill Gates turned MS-DOS into the Operating System That Ate Everybody's Brain, Gene Roddenberry and William Shatner planted in my mind a vision of personal computing so sublime that no real-life advance in this technology has given me the slightest thrill. I can't identify…

The Romney Tax Plan in Short Form

Among the myriad dubious claims associated with last week's first presidential debate was that Republican candidate Mitt Romney's “tax plan” is too mathematically complicated and too conceptually abstruse to explain to ordinary voters in the mere 90 minutes of TV time (about a half-hour longer than Bill Clinton's entire speech at the Democratic convention) allotted…

The Anti-Science of Anti-Regulation

Last week, I mildly mocked the efforts of the mobile phone industry to “self-regulate” the idiot practice of texting-while-driving. This prompted way more comments than I usually get, reminding me that anti-regulation — an ideology long promulgated by the forces FDR once aptly labeled “Organized Money” — has been so well marketed that we all…