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The Kubrickon: The Cult of Kubrick, Attention Capture, and the Inception of AI

Avail­able for order here. Author-read audio book avail­able here.
Stan­ley Kubrick was up to some­thing. But nei­ther his fiercest admir­ers nor his harsh­est crit­ics ever sus­pect­ed what it was. His movies were the means, but what was the end?
The Kubrick­on maps an unholy merg­er of com­put­er and behav­ioral sci­ences that has shaped not just pol­i­tics but all of mod­ern soci­ety over the past decade (e.g. Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca), trac­ing it direct­ly back to the 1960s and 1970s. It explores Stan­ley Kubrick’s inten­sive, secret, insid­er involve­ment in the build­ing of an archi­tec­ture of algo­rithm-direct­ed tech­nol­o­gy that has steadi­ly encroached into our inner realms, cement­ing a sym­bi­ot­ic rela­tionship between human con­scious­ness and tech­nol­o­gy, with cul­ture (ety­mo­log­i­cal­ly at the root of wor­ship) as the bind­ing medi­um of an atten­tion econ­o­my. Via cyber­net­ics, Simul­mat­ics, DARPA (the pro­to-inter­net) and Kubrick­’s post-Dr. Strangelove film oeu­vre, this tech has har­vest­ed human aware­ness as a means to gen­er­ate and apply Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence as a work­ing tool for memet­ic social engi­neer­ing and the co-opt­ing of the human soul.

For those who dis­like Kubrick movies, The Kubrick­on will final­ly absolve you of all uncer­tain­ty and guilt. For those who adore Kubrick movies, The Kubrick­on will chal­lenge you to the core, and may just set you free. For those who are indif­fer­ent to Kubrick movies, The Kubrick­on will reward you by mak­ing you care about, and nur­ture, your indifference.

First con­fes­sion — I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Kubrick fan. In fact, it is my non-recep­tiv­i­ty (I would say immu­ni­ty) to his movies, post-Dr. Strangelove (Shin­ing-except­ed) that drove me to this inves­ti­ga­tion. It began with a ques­tion: what is it about Kubrick movies that caus­es crit­ics and some view­ers (though usu­al­ly not with­out drugs or repeat­ed view­ings) to become ecsta­t­i­cal­ly enthralled to them, while I and many oth­ers I know are, like Jack Tor­rance, lit­er­al­ly left out in the cold?
The answer I came up with was shock­ing, and (sec­ond con­fes­sion) hard for even me to believe it. But, as Charles Fort wrote, the prod­ucts of our minds should not be sub­ject mat­ter for belief. In a realm in which sub­jec­tiv­i­ty has been hijacked and weaponized (the Kubrick­on), the evi­dence must speak for itself.
The Kubrick­on: The Cult of Kubrick, Atten­tion Cap­ture, and the Incep­tion of AI is due out in March 2023 (& now avail­able for pre-order) from Aeon Books. It’s described by the pub­lish­ers as follows:
The first book writ­ten about Stan­ley Kubrick by some­one who does­n’t like Stan­ley Kubrick. In this exper­i­men­tal analy­sis of the work of Stan­ley Kubrick, Jasun Hors­ley unpicks the cult of Kubrick, tak­ing a unique approach as he delves into the deep­er — and often dark­er — rea­sons as to why the direc­tor has achieved such admi­ra­tion over the years. Through­out The Kubrick­on Hors­ley uses Kubrick­’s crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed films such as Eyes Wide Shut and 2001: A Space Odyssey to pro­vide a fas­ci­nat­ing and rev­e­la­to­ry overview of the cul­tur­al obses­sion with Stan­ley Kubrick, as well as on a wider scale pro­vid­ing illu­mi­nat­ing crit­i­cisms of soci­ety’s con­sump­tion of cul­ture and media.

The Kubrick­on: The Cult of Kubrick, Atten­tion Cap­ture, and the Incep­tion of AI is avail­able for pre-order here. The author-read audio book is avail­able here. If you would like to receive an advance PDF (or a hard copy if you are have a big enough audi­ence) to review the book or inter­view its author, con­tact me at jasun [@] pro­ton­mail [dot] com.