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The Wishes of the Dead

46:49 – from Hi-Phi Nation

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Episode description

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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