Here’s an interesting phrase:
superficial convenience at the expense of real freedom
This comes from the conclusion of the 1998 essay The Elements of Style: UNIX as Literature by Thomas Scoville. The author sums up his preference for UNIX culture by saying he prefers the “freedom and responsibility that UNIX allows” to the “superficial convenience” of Windows NT.
I’m not interested in arguing here the relative merits of Unix and Windows. I’m more interested in broader ideas that spin off from the quote above. When is a convenience superficial? How well does convenience versus freedom explain technological controversies?
I could see substituting “short-term convenience” for “superficial convenience” and substituting “long-term efficiency” for “real freedom.” But that may lose something. Thomas Scoville’s terms may be more nuanced than my substitutions.