"Ubiquity," of course, comes from the Latin word for "everywhere"- and stands in contrast to "Utopia," another word coined from the Latin (by St. Thomas More) meaning "nowhere." Unlike utopian pie-in-the-sky visions, Ubiquity has always tried to stay focused ambitiously on The-Future-As-We-Already-See-It-Happening. This "Future-Present-Tense" is happening right in front of our eyes, in an information-rich world of embedded computing, embedded information, and embedded knowledge - along with embedded tensions.|
When you get some time, go into the Ubiquity archives and refresh your memory of what we've done: for example, take a second look at my own interviews with leaders in information science and technology, or re-read the many provocative articles we've published on every topic under the sun. (There's that old Ubiquity theme again, rearing its ubiquitous head.) You'll be impressed. And I think you'll be just as impressed with this, our final issue.
And our own resourceful and creative associate editor Arun Kumar Tripathi has a paper complementing Andy Clark's cyborg piece called "The Technological Transformation of Human Experience."
We will also have M.O. Thirunarayanan's playful "Are The New Languages Charming?" and "Emergence of the Academic Computing Clouds" by Kemal A. Delic and Martin Anthony Walker of Hewlett-Packard. Also "Content-Based Image Retrieval System" by Murari Mohan Sardar, Krishnendu Basuli, Saptarshi Naskar.
Finally, John Stuckey's fascinating meditation on time, history, evolution, and other ubiquitous considerations, in his new "Letter from Cairo." Read this and be in awe of the universe, and of John's talent.
This is not your father's Ubiquity. (Your father could only wish.)
Some personal notes now as I conclude almost a decade of work for ACM. As I dig my way ever more deeply into retirement, I want to give special thanks to those who have served as co-founders and/or editors of Ubiquity:
First, my old friend and partner Suzanne Douglas, a remarkable and wonderful person. Then, the great Peter Denning, a visionary's visionary in information technology, who stands as the Francis Bacon figure for this Age of Information. And then of course there is ACM Publications Director Mark Mandelbaum, a brilliant, entrepreneurial administrator and a great gentleman.
And finally, of course, there are my terrific associate editors, who made Ubiquity interesting and surprising week after week, after week, after week, after week, for hundreds of weeks: Espen Andersen; Kemal Delic; Ross Gagliano; Michel E. Kabay; John Stuckey; Arun Kumar Tripathi; and Goutam Kumar Saha.
If any of you want to contact me in the Hereafter, you could always try email@example.com. I'm planning to be there and everywhere, now, forever, and (needless to say) ubiquitously, as long as Alltel and I can keep our acts alive and together. You could also try 770-335-4089. That's my cell phone number, and is probably less eternal than I'd like it to be. However, it's an iPhone, so maybe it knows more about Eternity (or has it been renamed iEternity?) than all the rest of us do.
I'll finish up now by quoting the Leonard Bernstein song that the great sportscaster Jim McKay used to sing when, as a young man, he hosted an afternoon song-and-dance show on New York television five days a week. He used the song to close the show. Here are two of the verses:
Haven't done half the things we want to.
Oh well, we'll catch up
Some other time.
Just when the fun is starting,
Comes the time for parting.
But let's be glad for what we've had,
And what's to come.