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Full Title or Meme

Freedom from Friction is often the goal of designers of digital systems. Carried to extremes it is always a very bad idea.



  • Revolutions against the oppressive regimes in France of the 1790's lead to the Jacobins and a reign of terror. There was no friction between accusing someone of royalist sympathies and the guillotine.
  • In the 1920's freedom of expression gave us the roaring twenties.
  • In the 1960's freedom of expression was carried to extremes in a backlash against societal ills like discrimination.
  • In the 1990's freedom from regulation


An article in 1996 titled Friction-Free Economy Rhetoric Holds a Time Bomb described the results to be expected from friction-free movement of many. The introduction of this in the 2020's has proven that the warning was both true and ignored.[1]


  1. Gary Chapman Friction-Free Economy Rhetoric Holds a Time Bomb (1996-01-11 LA Times