“5. The Critical Engineer recognises that each work of engineering engineers its user, proportional to that user’s dependency upon it.”
I think the tenet means that a work of engineering modifies the way the user thinks about the problem, so the more the user uses it, the more the user thinks in its way. I found this particularly interesting because I’m gradually becoming aware of the fact that I’m being engineered by so many things around me. I’m also thinking about common things that could have been engineered in another way and what would happen to us if they were.
One example would be the Processing language. After using Processing a lot for a semester, I begin thinking in Processing’s way. I think of the screen as a canvas, and lines and shapes are drawn onto it to make a frame. Even when I’m not using Processing, or when I’m just thinking about random ideas, (or when I’m thinking about things not even related to programming,) this mode of thinking sticks. Similarly, if I have been using d3 for the whole semester, I might have think of programing as data entering and exiting.