Forged in War: How a Century of War Created Today’s Information Society

I am proud to announce my new book Forged in War: How a Century of War Created Today’s Information Society published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Forged in War

Many of what we think of as Information Age tools and media— computers, cell phones, the internet, encryption, and more— evolved directly out of modern warfare. These tools started with World War I (which began not with arms but with England cutting off underwater cables to Germany to isolate it), accelerated through World War II and the Cold War, and now play a central role in both declared and non-declared conflicts like election interference and cyberbattles.

We buy phones, smart speakers, and virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa to help us do our work and answer that one trivia question that bugs us. Yet these devices are data gatherers. They collect, repackage, and monetize our questions, purchases, photographs, and web surfing to form a data industry now larger than the oil industry.

Forged in War takes a critical look at the systems we use and how we ended up in a society that increasingly values data over personal liberty and commerce over the public good. It tells a compelling and previously untold story of how our ideas of information and knowledge reflect the century of war that has militarized our worldview.

R. David Lankes’s work has been funded by organizations such as the MacArthur Foundation, the Institute for Library and Museum Services, NASA, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. State Department. This, his latest book, will help all of us learn how war has shaped our world and how to begin to create an agenda to stand down weaponized data and a media that seeks to own our personal, even intimate, data like one owns a gold mine.

Check out the star review in LibraryJournal: “VERDICT This most recent book by Lankes is ideal for readers seeking a more comprehensive look at information dissemination technology, its context, and its impact on the way in which we now live.

Available to order from Rowman & Littlefield

 SPECIAL OFFER 

30% DISCOUNT OFF LIST PRICE USING CODE RLFANDF30 

978-1-5381-4895-2 • Cloth May 2021 • $36.00 • after discount: $25.20 

978-1-5381-4896-9 • eBook May 2021 • $34.00 • after discount: $23.80 

Ampliemos expectativas – Expect More in Spanish Free Online

On Tuesday I had the honor of joining a launch event with the National Library of Peru. The library, working with the Library of Valencia, have translated Expect more into Spanish. It is a part of the National Library of Peru’s Reading, Library and Community Book seriesBest yet, they have released it to the world!

You can link to the Spanish eBook here: https://bpdigital.bnp.gob.pe/info/ampliemos-expectativas-exijamos-mejores-bibliotecas-para-lidiar-con-la-complejidad-del-mundo-actual-00638600

Here are my remarks for the release:

I am so happy to join you today for the launch of Expect more as part of the “Reading, Library and Community” Book series. I want to thank the National Library of Peru and the librarians of Valencia for their work translating and publishing the Spanish language version.

Continue reading “Ampliemos expectativas – Expect More in Spanish Free Online”

Lankes Signs with Rowman and Littlefield for His Next Book

I am so happy to announce that I’ll be publishing my next book with Rowman & Littlefield. I am also thrilled to be working with Charles Harmon as my editor again.

The book should be published in 2021 and is about how the data and media landscape we live in has been shaped by a century of conflict and war. I am writing for a general audience and unlike my last books this one is not specifically about librarianship (though you know I’ll be doing my best to promote them).

The following is from the book proposal:

The first battle of World War I was not on land and not fought with battleships. It was cutting the telegraph cables that connected Germany to the rest of the world. With this action Britain not only launched the first information war but set in motion a series of events and ideas that shape our world. From the internet, to Google, to filter bubbles and Russian election interference, Lankes explores how we ended up in a society that values data over personal liberty and commerce over the public good. How our ideas of information and knowledge reflect the century of war that has militarized our worldview.

Using a series of trips through history from World War I until today, Lankes explores concepts from encryption and how it can be used to change our understanding of ownership to artificial intelligence and the wide scale adoption of software we don’t truly understand. He uses these grounded ideas to argue for a new humanism that focuses on how we find meaning in life and for an agenda to take back control of the world’s knowledge infrastructure. From Nazi espionage to smart appliances that spy on us in our homes to the COVID-19 pandemic this book is a clarion call for new polices in copyright, facial recognition, privacy, and in managing the trillion-dollar data/technology industry.

Expect More in Italian (Biblioteche innovative in un mondo che cambia)

Thanks to the amazing work of Anna Maria Tammaro and Elena Corradini, Expect More has been translated into Italian and is now available here (https://www.editricebibliografica.it/scheda-libro/r-david-lankes/biblioteche-innovative-in-un-mondo-che-cambia-9788893571043-579345.html). Apparently the first printing has already sold out and they are making another run!

Anna Maria is also offering a course on the Library as a Platform. There is a new section starting June 18: https://www.editricebibliografica.it/scheda-corsi/anna-maria-tammaro/la-biblioteca-come-piattaforma-04-2020-3-579391.html

I have been fortunate to work with the incredible librarians of Italy and I can’t wait for my next trip to listen and learn. Thanks again to Anna Maria, Elena Corradini, and Editrice Bibliografica

Is It Time for a Second Edition of the Atlas?

Greetings Readers and users of the Atlas of New Librarianship, I need your thoughts. Next year is the 10th anniversary of its publishing. I’ve been talking with my editor at MIT Press and have a couple of options.

1. Ignore it.
2. Write a new foreword and perhaps a nice on the cover, or 
3. Develop a second edition.

And here’s where I need your honest input.

A second edition would be a lot of work (it would have to be submitted by the end of the summer), but would it be useful, particularly with the New Librarianship Field Guide out there now? I know some of you use the Atlas for classes, so I am really interested in your opinion.

Bibliopocalypse

Dürers, Albrecht. Die Offenbarung des Johannes: 4. Die vier apokalyptischen Reiter, 1497-1498.

David and Daniel Gonçalves of the Bibliotecas são Comunidades blog asked me to write a post for their bog:

The theme of the text is to imagine a world without libraries. The aim is to demonstrate the importance of libraries and how much we depend on them.

As you can see from the text I wrote, this was fun and exciting for me. It also has me thinking about imaginative advocacy. The use of stories, drawings, and creative other creative works to advocate for libraries, but more in general.

I know this is a pretty rich and well developed area. I just started to thinking how I could be a part.

In any case, let me know what you think (the text is in English): Bibliopocalypse

Expect More Now Available in French (Exigeons de meilleures bibliothèques)

Book CoverI am proud to announce the availability of Expect More in French (Exigeons de meilleures bibliothèques). Published under the Creative Commons by Ateliers de [sens public] it is free to download and is also available in print for a small cost. You can access the book here: http://ateliers.sens-public.org/exigeons-de-meilleures-bibliotheques/index.html

The translation under the direction of Jean-Michel Lapointe, librarian at the University of Quebec at Montreal, was the result of an amazing effort of volunteers. As Jean-Michel said

“Without their passionate commiment, this book would not exist. This is volunteer work they did on their free time because they believed in the importance of your ideas to our profession. Add to this that the project was done very quickly : 6 months in total, from its inception to the publication. A million deeply-felt thanks to them. Merci, merci, merci.

Ateliers de [sens public], a brand new subproject of Sens public, is an innovative open access monograph publisher runned by Servanne Monjour and Nicolas Sauret. Exigeons de meilleures bibliothèques is one of the three initial publications of Ateliers de [sens public]. Marcello Vitali-Rosati, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Digital Textualities, initiated the project with Sens Public – a peer-review open access journal of which he is the editor in chief — and was of great help throughout the editorial process. Marcello, through his chair, gave vital financial support to carry out the publication, including the meticulous proof reading work of Margot Mellet. Many grateful thanks to them.”

So very special thanks to those who contributed to the translation:

  • Isabelle Bastien, bibliothécaire à l’Université de Montréal
  • Lilen Colombino, étudiante à l’École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l’information de l’Université de Montréal
  • Marie D. Martel, professeure adjointe à l’École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l’information de l’Université de Montréal
  • Pascale Félizat-Chartier, directrice générale de la Corporation des bibliothécaires professionnels du Québec (CBPQ)
  • Adèle Flannery, bibliothécaire à l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • Catherine Forget, bibliothécaire à l’École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) de Montréal
  • Jean-Michel Lapointe, bibliothécaire à l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • Michael David Miller, bibliothécaire à l’Université McGill
  • Réjean Savard, professeur honoraire à l’École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l’information de l’Université de Montréal et président de l’Asted
  • Louise Struthers, bibliothécaire à la bibliothèque publique de Saint- Lambert
  • Ekaterina Valkova-Damova, bibliothécaire en chef, Montreal West Children’s Library

And thanks to Marcello Vitali-Rosati and Margot Mellet.

The translation is part of lead up to Congrès des professionnels de l’information in Montréal. And more is planned for the future, so stay tuned.

Expect More is now available in English, Portuguese, German, and now French! It demonstrates the power of open access and librarianship.

Interested in translating Expect More or the Atlas of New Librarianship? Please let me know how I can help.

German Edition of Expect More Named 2017 Book of the Year

Germaqn Language Cover of the Expect More Book

PASSWORD-Online, the German online magazine, has chosen the German Edition of David Lankes Expect More as the “book of the year 2017.”

A very special note of thanks to Prof. Dr. Hans-Christoph Hobohm and his team of translators. He and his team went well beyond simply translating words, but did an amazing job translating and promotion the spirit of Expect More and pushing for transformed libraries in Germany.