9. The Critical Engineer notes that written code expands into social and psychological realms, regulating behaviour between people and the machines they interact with. By understanding this, the Critical Engineer seeks to reconstruct user-constraints and social action through means of digital excavation.
This rule describes the fact that while we have a great deal of influence over the technology we create and its purpose, technology also has a great influence over our emotions and minds, and can be utilized to influence others. Technology, for better or for worse, can be created to bring about social change and to influence the minds of others, whether they are conscious of it or not. Particularly when art is combined with engineering, it can be used to move people towards a particular goal.
It was intriguing to me to imagine coding as something that can be designed to bring about social change and to have a psychological impact on "users". That not only does technology have an influence on the person using it, but that it has an influence on relationships between individuals.
One example of this which comes to mind are news apps that regularly notify users of certain headlines, filtering what it is that they're seeing to create an emotional response. Another is dating apps, which allow people to "browse" through profiles and possible partners based on algorithms that match their compatibility, which could become more and more advanced and specific.