Cover art for podcast Hi-Phi Nation

Hi-Phi Nation

45 EpisodesProduced by Slate PodcastsWebsite

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story-form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, … read more

49:28

The Wishes of the Dead

Our lives are controlled by the invisible hand from the grave. Trillions of dollars of the economy are devoted to executing the wishes of people who died long ago, rather than satisfying the desires of the living. We follow the story of the Hershey fortune to show how a 19th century industrialist constructed the oddest business structure to ensure that his wishes would be fulfilled hundreds of years after his death. The story raises questions about why we give the dead so much power over our lives, and what this says about how we find meaning in our own lives given foreknowledge of our mortality. Guest voices include Ray Madoff, Jim Mcmahon, Bob Fernandez, Joe Berning, Carole Hite, James Stacey Taylor, Barbara Baum Levenbook, Russ Shaffer-Landau, and Samuel Scheffler.

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