Historian Jill Lepore On The Corporation That Invented The Future : 1A "I find myself baffled by what we have tacitly or unknowingly agreed to with regard to the collection of personal data about each of us and its use by for-profit corporations to predict our behavior and therefore manipulate our behavior and sell us stuff," says historian and author Jill Lepore.

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Historian Jill Lepore On The Corporation That Invented The Future

Historian Jill Lepore On The Corporation That Invented The Future

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Historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore's new book is If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future. Amy Sussman/Army Sussman/Getty Images the New Yorker hide caption

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Amy Sussman/Army Sussman/Getty Images the New Yorker

Historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore's new book is If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future.

Amy Sussman/Army Sussman/Getty Images the New Yorker

Given all the recent chaos, there was one important story that came out last week about the 2016 election that hardly got a mention.

Leaked data revealed that political consulting company Cambridge Analytica targeted over three million Black Americans to try to persuade these voters to stay home on Election Day. The firm helped build a program called 'Deterrence' and the Trump campaign used it, according to Channel 4 News in the UK,.

But the ideas behind Cambridge Analytica's tactics are not new.

Historian Jill Lepore says it all began in the late 1950s and involves a company you've probably never heard of. She's a history professor at Harvard University, and author of the book, "If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future."

We talked with her about the history of data in politics, and the lasting effects it may have on our elections, and our society.

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