The Gist

Making Fun of the GameStop Stonks

Unpacking the discussion around the GameStop phenomenon. Plus, part one of an interview with Jill Lepore on everyone’s favorite punchline - polls.

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Episode Notes

On the Gist, once a Nobel Peace Prize winner, now a war criminal.

In the Interview, writer Jill Lepore joins Mike for part one of their conversation on her latest book: If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future, a precursor to data and polling companies. If Then is an account on the mid-century boom in the advertising industry and its overlap with political marketing. Lepore articulates the deep prejudice in polling at the time, the rise of awareness of computers, and how Simulmatics’ people machine’s duplicity was made legible.

In the spiel, the GameStop/Wall Street debacle starring the usual suspects.

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Podcast production by Margaret Kelley and Cheyna Roth.


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  • Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.