As you may guess, it is not easy for me to write this LAST contribution for our wonderful newsletter (thanks Adrian…). I did the same at the end of our previous NEWCOM++, and let me say that I was an easy prophet at that time: the title of the article was “NEWCOM++ est mort, vive NEWCOM++", and that was exactly what happened. As the mythical Phoenix, NEWCOM++ raised from its own ashes and turned into the NEWCOM# that we have lived until today. But, it’s over now, and I cannot be as easy a prophet as I was four years ago.
Let’s start from the beginning: I would like to sincerely thank everybody who contributed to creating the NEWCOM spirit: the Executive and Advisory Board members, the N# Office, all the local scientific and administrative representatives, the Work Package leaders, the organization of schools, workshops, and dissemination events, and everybody who just enjoyed doing research together. We’re all part of a Network of Excellence, just yet another funded research EU project, you may think. But we all know it is not just this: as Sergio Benedetto, the founder of NEWCOM highlighted in his opening talk at our final event in Barcelona, we’re more thank that after 13 (yes, thirteen!) years of cooperative research: we’ve grown into a Network of People, nurturing what I like to call the NEWCOM spirit.
And let’s go on with a simple consideration: we have to find a way not to waste all this capital of competence and cooperation that the NEWCOMs contributed to create and maintain. In Barcelona there was a lot of discussions about the involvement of the tools that NEWCOM has spun off, like EURACON, and possible frameworks where to find opportunities for these new tools. The mailing lists of our NoE will stay active for more time, at least until the final project review on January 20, 2016, and we will take advantage of this opportunity to collect ideas and to possibly launch some initiatives for survival. In the meantime, if you wish to organize some event like a workshop or a school taking advantage of the NEWCOM# community, please drop me a mail and feel free to do it – let’s think of our NoE as still active, at least in terms of that spirit and of those cooperation links that do not need any financial support to survive…
When I was a boy, I happened to find on the shelves of a bargain bookstore a copy of Fred Hoyle's "The Black Cloud" (sturdy science fiction from the 50’s). It was an overly fascinating story about an extraterrestrial intelligent being in the form of a huge interstellar cloud coming in touch with the inhabitants of the Earth and eventually succeeding to carry on a dialogue. What was to my eyes most fascinating was the description of the alien intelligence: it was not a single entity, rather, it was a collection of minds linked by a tangle of very high-speed communication links. The superior intellectual and ethical qualities of the Black Cloud as a whole were just the result of this huge communication capability between simpler minds. Isn’t it a nice depiction of the modern Internet and, to a smaller scale, of our NEWCOM# ?
“Live long and prosper” in research to everybody