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Monday, August 20, 2007


Apple Photo Booth Fun. CRC with Joaquin Alvarado, a Bay Area DigiGuru who runs the Institute for Next Generation Internet (INGI) with some MAYA learning day camp attendees including BIC.

INGI has a very impressive group of professional digital media experts from software writers, MAYA specialists, game designers and educators. INGI has a phenomenal high powered digital lab with the fastest broadband I have ever seen. They managed to send a 4k uncompressed version of Lucas's latest Star Wars epic to his Skywalker screening room in real time via this ultra high speed broadband fiber. There were no hiccups. Only worldwide universities, research labs, and government agencies are tapped into this fiber right now, but that's gonna change with the help of INGI and other groups like it. Fiber optics is definitely the future of digital distribution my friends, not satellite or traditional film.

Joaquin shared his story of working with at-risk youth in Oakland, California. They were set up on an exchange program to share their stories via the internet with kids in New Dehli using a new program INGI has been developing called Brainstormer. The inner city Oakland kids were reluctant at first to tell the New Dehli kids about the stuff they had to deal with: drugs, prostitution, violence. They thought that the kids must be pretty straight in New Dehli. When the New Dehli kids came back with their own stories about dealing with being in the Untouchable caste, or being kidnapped and forced into slavery, or having to work 4 hours a day pulling a rickshaw before they could even attend their school, the Oakland kids saw how they had more in common than they thought. And the fact they were able to discuss their problems in a fun virtual setting like Brainstormer gave them a sense of hope because anything is possible in the Digital Arena. Joaquin and his team are using the new media and digital technology to accomplish what PAH strives to do; sharing our stories to bring people together...taking a ride on that Everybody Boat.

INGI and EARSXXI are planning to bring PAH-FEST to the bay area next year. Both Joaquin and I thought having it around Valentine's day would be appropriate, considering "I left my heart in San Francisco" and "If you are going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair."

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