This pretty stellar post is from netlibrarian:
"In Dungeons & Dragons, characters are aligned in terms of law/chaos and good/evil. Wikipedia has a great explanation. Technology is a chaotic neutral actor.
Here’s what we’re talking about:
A Chaotic Neutral character is an individualist who follows his or her own heart, and generally shirks rules and traditions. Although they promote the ideals of freedom, it is their own freedom that comes first. Good and Evil come second to their need to be free, and the only reliable thing about them is how totally unreliable they are. Chaotic Neutral characters are free-spirited and do not enjoy the unnecessary suffering of others, but if they join a team, it is because that team’s goals happen to coincide with their own at the moment. They invariably resent taking orders and can be very selfish in their pursuit of personal goals. A Chaotic Neutral character does not have to be an aimless wanderer; they may have a specific goal in mind, but their methods of achieving that goal are often disorganized, unorthodox, or entirely unpredictable.
from that same Wikipedia page (emphasis added)
By great designers, technology can be made to afford certain things. But in the real world technology is used so heavily that every possible flaw rises out of well-intended designs.
Techno-utopians talk a great game, but we as humans have had to make so many adjustments to technology (someday I’ll write a post about thinking like Google to search efficiently, for example) that I’m convinced technology is free. It isn’t free to the point of robots taking over the world, but it is free enough that it often controls us more than we control it. (By ‘we’ here, I mean consumers. Technology is designed by specific people who obviously have control.)
Because the designers that implement systems can’t anticipate every possible situation, every possible use case, every possible workflow, every possible combination of inputs, of course technology is going to be unreliable. Technology is free and requires us to work with it, rather than technology working with us. Technology is not flexible unless designed incredibly well. We are the ones that are flexible to make up for the unreliability of many technologies.
Technology has no goal other than to work when proper or compatible input is received. So when our input is true, technology aligns with us. But when we screw up, technology is not with us.
Since most people don’t understand computer science, to most people, the ways of computers don’t make sense. And, honestly, with so many weird interfaces that work in nonsensical ways, computer methods are often unpredictable to people who know computers as well.