Archives for Robin Hanson



Legacy of a Jerk

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. Read More »



How a Football Coach Sends Signals That Have Nothing to Do With Football

On Yahoo! Sports, the football writer Jason Cole profiles Todd Haley, the Pittsburgh native who has returned to his hometown Steelers (yeah, they’re my team too) to take over as offensive coordinator. Cole writes about Haley’s notorious “screaming jags” and wonders if Haley and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can coexist:

Haley believes the outside world doesn’t understand the method to his madness. In previous stops, Haley was walking into rebuilding situations that required more attitude.

“The general public doesn’t know if that’s contrived or not contrived and over the years you have seen a lot of coaches who have shown emotion,” Haley said. “I take a great deal of pride in my passion for the game, but it was also what the situation dictated at the time.”

Okay, nothing so noteworthy about that. But then Haley reveals himself as a master of signaling theory: Read More »



Legacy of a Jerk: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

Our latest podcast is called “Legacy of a Jerk.” You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen via the media player above, or read the transcript here.

The gist: what happens to your reputation when you’re no longer around to defend it?

You’ll hear a variety of stories, and theories, about legacy in general and the legacy of jerks in particular. We discuss “strategic jerkitude”; the ancient injunction against speaking ill of the dead; and the fascinating, complicated legacy of Steve Jobs.

Among the highlights:

The death of a Pennsylvania woman named Carole “Fritzi” Miller Roberson and how lives like hers live on at Legacy.com, where roughly 5,000 new obituaries are posted every day. Read More »