|On land, my little boy and
I visited Mayan children swinging in hammocks inside thatched huts
just as the first television penetrated isolated forests of the Yucatan
peninsula. I wondered how flickering images from another world would
change these childrens' future, and if it was possible for them to
use these same tools to preserve their values and culture. So I went
back north to put together a course of study we decided to call Applied
Beneath the sea, I was intrigued to see how even marine invertebrates such as sponges can learn. I did graduate work in marine biology. When I wasn't underwater, I spent long hours at UCLA's medical library to research the effects of learning on neural structures. Today, our World Wide Web neuralnets are modeled on these simple biological neuralsystems.
Now The Shaman Within, my new book, charts the synergy between electronic networks and the human brain. It explores a 21st century pathway to mental, physical and spiritual powers explored 2000 years ago by the ancestors of those same Mayan children who first inspired this quest.
Creativity is a prime passion. Michael Milken's Museum of Creativity project invited me to design installations to explore the power of myth and inspiration in the creative process. The Los Angeles Times , The Arizona Daily Star, City Magazine, The Tucson Weekly and national magazines such as High Performance, Digital Media and Online Access have published some of my feature articles, several examining how ancient wisdom can provide guidance for defining culture in the networked world of cyberspace.
In Los Angeles I write and produce documentaries and educational series aired on PBS, Discovery, History Channel, Fox Television, CNN and for international syndication. Several projects have focused on troubled youth, medical technology and social policy, such as the documentary for PBS about a wagon train for delinquent kids called Vision Quest.
I've been honored by Press Club awards for investigative journalism, and as contributing editor for Digital Media, Cable-Telco Report and SPECTRUM I've covered culture and policy issues related to digital technologies and the convergence of electronic networks. I've given numerous seminars, radio presentations and television interviews on those subjects in the U.S., Australia and for Japanese television.
FreeFall in Cyberspace was a performance piece in Sydney, Australia, which joined Aboriginal artists and Navajo artists via space bridge to explore how online Native American art relates to traditional values and dreamtime.
On the home front, I co-produce the 48-part Computers, Freedom & Privacy Video Library Series (sponsored by Apple Computer, Association of Computer Machinery, and The Electronic Frontier Foundation) which spotlights debate about challenges and opportunities of the emerging networked world.
My hands-on experience as a systems integrator (in addition to SoftForce) includes eight years as president of The Icon Corporation, for which I supervised design, construction and management of a showcase interactive cable television, security and conferencing network built with General Instruments for a 300-family gated community called Cobblestone. In Arizona, Icon also developed a video database and training system for ADTEC (the Arizona Diagnostic Training and Education Center, a school for developmentally disabled children); and helped to design and build Tucson's nationally recognized interactive cable television system. I was co-founder and public interest chair of the Pima County Cable Commission. The public participation process which I developed with The Tucson Media Coalition and the Urban Institute won Newsweek Magazine kudos as the outstanding example of community involvement for regional CATV franchising in the nation.
At New York University I studied cultural change with Margaret Mead's Urban Anthropology program, had classes with ethnomusicologist Colin Turnbull (who wrote THE FOREST PEOPLE about the Ituri Pygmies) and specialized in learning how to duel with prominent Freudians. Study of photojournalism and theater took me to the New School of Social Research, and I was closely associated with the founding of the now-famous Performance Group on Wooster Street.
I earned my Master's Degree in Applied Media Anthropology at University of Arizona, where complementary medicine and integrative health guru Andrew Weil, M.D. was a strong influence. I taught television production and developed seminars about the social implications of electronic media at University of Arizona and Pima Community College and produced interactive television specials designed to build a lively place for divided multicultural communities to share friendly debate on difficult issues in a context of music and down home ethnic fun.