"Nobody who's ever been poor would ever use the phrase 'selling out.'" So said Sherman Alexie, award-winning author of "War Dances," "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven," and "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," in an interview with Big Think this week. The candid, funny discussion touched on his work, his Spokane Indian roots, his rise to fame, and his successful battle with alcoholism.
He also expanded on his prominent public skepticism of the e-book, which he considers a toy of the "economically elite" and fears will change existing publishing models for the worse. Addressing the question of literary heroes, he chose to cite literary works instead, revealing the books that have moved him the most both as a child and an adult.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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