This is a term that emerged in the comments under Inscius’ Ceramic Aware blog post. The conversation turned to the subject of the fridge spam (which, it turns out, probably isn’t a thing – yet) and the fact that we are increasingly being sold gadgets that are connected, flexible, very functional and completely locked down so that the person paying for the gadget has little or no control over it.
It is, of course, very convenient to be able to buy a device, take it home, plug it in and expect everything to just work. But if that convenience comes at the cost of not being able to open it, repair it, upgrade it or even apply a security patch, then the short-term convenience is far outweighed by the long term cost.
There is a trade-off between convenience and control and, in the vast majority of cases, the choice you make will depend on a range of factors and there is unlikely to be a clearly right or wrong decision. However, I do think that you need to understand that you are making a choice and that choice is, in the majority of cases, between short-term convenience and long-term convenience.
Whenever you choose the immediately convenient option without understanding, or even being aware, of the longer term consequences of this decision, you are enjoying pyrrhic convenience.