Legacy of a Jerk

(Photo: Sarah Ackerman)

Season 3, Episode 5

Since the beginning of civilization, human waste has been considered worthless at best and quite often dangerous. What if it turns out we were wrong? In this episode of Freakonomics Radio, host Stephen Dubner explores the power of poop, focusing on an experimental procedure called a fecal transplant (some call it a “transpoosion”), which may offer promising results not only for intestinal problems but also obesity and neurological disorders.  We’ll talk to two doctors at the vanguard of this procedure and a patient who says it changed his life.

Also: we’ve all heard our share of poignant and loving eulogies. But what if the deceased was (gulp) a real jerk? Ancient wisdom tells us not to speak ill of the dead, but in this very chatty age — and online obituaries — what happens to a person’s reputation once he’s no longer around to defend himself?  Dubner speaks with Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson about the Apple CEO’s well-known proclivity toward jerkitude, and we offer a radical reassessment of baseball’s biggest jerk, Ty Cobb

This episode is a compilation of two earlier podcasts: “The Power of Poop” and “Legacy of a Jerk.” 

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  1. Judy Tiger says:

    Wish that the coverage of fecal transplant had not been mostly ‘ooh, ick’ but more about the real science involved and had addressed what would be a typical question – we think of poop as full of pathogens and therefore dangerous. Difference between ickly and dangerous. Please, stick to the science and explain!

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