Jill Lepore’s If Then presents a history of the application of big data and analytics in elections, for social manipulation and to target ads. Facebook and Cambridge Analytica trace their spiritual origins to a little known company, Simulmatics, founded in 1959. Who were these people? What motivated them? This book gets into substantial detail, tying together the Kennedy election, Vietnam, the rebirth of advertising and much more in a riveting, hard-to-put-down account.
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