I also like the last line in this excerpt - if things don't work IT'S YOUR FAULT.
Interaction design guru Alan Cooper (www.cooper.com) defined this term to describe the mental stretch caused when tools behave in a way that seems unrelated to what you wanted. I find it extremely helpful in illustrating the ever-present anxiety of being a normal web user. [Editor’s note - the term “web user” can be replaced by “woodworking tool user”]
Note: Alan describes this much better in his excellent book "The Inmates are Running the Asylum". Please buy it.
In times gone by, using a tool to do something was a simple affair. e.g. Gather friends > take sticks > make stick pointy > poke mammoth with sticks > repeat until mammoth falls over. The pointy stick is very low in cognitive friction: its purpose and form are directly related. Even if you'd never used a pointy stick before, you could imagine how you could use it simply by looking at it or handling it. If you stick yourself in the leg with it, you understood why you'd been stuck in the leg, and you would learn how to avoid getting stuck in the leg again.
Todays' tools are generally high in cognitive friction: their form and purpose are more often unrelated. (snip) Another effect you notice with cognitive friction is: if something doesn't work, you're made to think it's your fault."
Just something to think about - or not.