The history of the multivalent notion of simplicity that underwrites digital metaphors and 'solutions' for government is part of the history of computing and political history alike, and it would make an important tool for understanding, deploying, and critiquing simplifying technologies and the rhetoric of simplification today. By investigating how computer systems themselves came to be seen as simple or complex, and how this came to be a judgment of virtue, historians can shed light on the fitness of such digital tools and metaphors and the problems of public policy that are likely to defy such solutions and descriptions. © 1992-2011 IEEE.
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