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.