The Concept of Scrutiny

  • William Aspray
  • James W. Cortada
Part of the History of Computing book series (HC)


This introductory chapter considers the concept of scrutiny, which is a concept that underlies the analysis throughout the book. Scrutiny is an essential element of the methodological practices of science and philosophy. It is also essential to being a consumer in a world in which one is assaulted by advertising every place one turns, or in determining the authenticity of a cultural artifact such as a novel or play. The politics of honest election and fair governance are also a place where scrutiny is important. Scrutiny is what ties together the topics covered in this book (debunking of urban legends, political fact-checking, truth-or-fiction television programming, grade B horror movies, and sites that protect one from computer viruses) that have been prevalent in the years 1990 to 2015. This chapter looks in particular at scrutiny in online settings.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Aspray
    • 1
  • James W. Cortada
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Information ScienceUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Charles Babbage InstituteUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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