THE NEUROLOGY OF FREE WILL – Are We Responsible for Our Habits? – Part 4

Brian Thomas murdered his wife. Angie Bachmann squandered her inheritance. Is there a difference in how society should assign responsibility? Thomas’s lawyer argued that his client wasn’t culpable for his wife’s death because he acted unconsciously, automatically, his reaction cued by the belief that an intruder was attacking. He never chose to kill, his lawyer … Continue reading THE NEUROLOGY OF FREE WILL – Are We Responsible for Our Habits? – Part 4

THE NEUROLOGY OF FREE WILL – Are We Responsible for Our Habits? – Part 3

Three years after Angie Bachmann declared bankruptcy, her father passed away. She’d spent the previous half decade flying between her home and her parents’ house, tending to them as they became increasingly ill. His death was a blow. Then, two months later, her mother died. “My entire world disintegrated,” she said. “I would wake up … Continue reading THE NEUROLOGY OF FREE WILL – Are We Responsible for Our Habits? – Part 3

THE NEUROLOGY OF FREE WILL – Are We Responsible for Our Habits? – Part 2

On a July morning in 2008, a desperate man vacationing along the west coast of Wales picked up the phone and called an emergency operator. “I think I’ve killed my wife,” he said. “Oh my God. I thought someone had broken in. I was fighting with those boys but it was Christine. I must have … Continue reading THE NEUROLOGY OF FREE WILL – Are We Responsible for Our Habits? – Part 2

THE NEUROLOGY OF FREE WILL – Are We Responsible for Our Habits? – Part 1

The morning the trouble began—years before she realized there was even trouble in the first place—Angie Bachmann was sitting at home, staring at the television, so bored that she was giving serious thought to reorganizing the silverware drawer. Her youngest daughter had started kindergarten a few weeks earlier and her two older daughters were in … Continue reading THE NEUROLOGY OF FREE WILL – Are We Responsible for Our Habits? – Part 1

SADDLEBACK CHURCH AND THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT – How Movements Happen – Part 3

In the summer of 1979, a young seminary student who was white, had been one year old when Rosa Parks was arrested, and was currently focused mostly on how he was going to support his growing family, posted a map on the wall of his Texas home and began drawing circles around major U.S. cities, … Continue reading SADDLEBACK CHURCH AND THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT – How Movements Happen – Part 3

SADDLEBACK CHURCH AND THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT – How Movements Happen – Part 2

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re an established midlevel executive at a prosperous company. You’re successful and well liked. You’ve spent years building a reputation inside your firm and cultivating a network of friends that you can tap for clients, advice, and industry gossip. You belong to a church, a gym, and a country club, … Continue reading SADDLEBACK CHURCH AND THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT – How Movements Happen – Part 2

SADDLEBACK CHURCH AND THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT – How Movements Happen – Part 1

The 6 P.M. Cleveland Avenue bus pulled to the curb and the petite forty-two-year-old African American woman in rimless glasses and a conservative brown jacket climbed on board, reached into her purse, and dropped a ten-cent fare into the till. It was Thursday, December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, and she had just finished a … Continue reading SADDLEBACK CHURCH AND THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT – How Movements Happen – Part 1

HOW TARGET KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU DO – When Companies Predict (and Manipulate) Habits – Part 3 – 4

Part 3 In the early 1940s, the U.S. government began shipping much of the nation’s domestic meat supply to Europe and the Pacific theater to support troops fighting in World War II. Back home, the availability of steaks and pork chops began to dwindle. By the time the United States entered the war in late … Continue reading HOW TARGET KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU DO – When Companies Predict (and Manipulate) Habits – Part 3 – 4

HOW TARGET KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU DO – When Companies Predict (and Manipulate) Habits – Part 2

In the summer of 2003, a promotion executive at Arista Records named Steve Bartels began calling up radio DJs to tell them about a new song he was certain they would love. It was called “Hey Ya!” by the hip-hop group OutKast. “Hey Ya!” was an upbeat fusion of funk, rock, and hip-hop with a … Continue reading HOW TARGET KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU DO – When Companies Predict (and Manipulate) Habits – Part 2

HOW TARGET KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU DO – When Companies Predict (and Manipulate) Habits – Part 1

Andrew Pole had just started working as a data expert for Target when a few colleagues from the marketing department stopped by his desk one day and asked the kind of question Pole had been born to answer: “Can your computers figure out which customers are pregnant, even if they don’t want us to know?” … Continue reading HOW TARGET KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU DO – When Companies Predict (and Manipulate) Habits – Part 1