Highlight Reel: Informatics of Domination

After posting Haraway's thought framework from "A Cyborg Manifesto," I wanted to jot down a few notes as to how I see her interpretation of these "scary new networks" overlapping or meshing with what I have developed here at sportsBabel.

Labor ›› Robotics

When Haraway discusses a shift from labor to robotics (elsewhere in the essay she says that "microelectronics mediates the translations of labour into robotics and word processing"), is the sportocratic equivalent not Rasheed Wallace and his perfectly-assembled soundbite — "Both teams played hard." — which the typing classes then turn into content? Wallace's perfect quality control gives truth to the lie about the nature of professional athletes, who are in fact I3-producing techno-bodies.

Physiology ›› Communications engineering

Gatorade changes from a drink that will provide fatigued athletes with fluid and electrolytes to a circulating image-sign indicating superior athletic performance available as consumptive possibility.

Representation ›› Simulation

Can something be represented that has never taken place? This is the situation in which sport finds itself once we begin to introduce motion capture into movies and videogames. The recombinant nature of fantasy gaming is another postmodern take on the sporting text, the "anterior finality" (cf. Baudrillard) of simulation that irrevocably shapes both product and producer.

Perfection (Heat) ›› Optimization (Noise)

Haraway could be speaking specifically about sabermetrics with these points. Rather than diatribe myself, I will resample a talk from Paul DePodesta, GM of the Los Angeles Dodgers, that I posted earlier:

I was on a quest to find relevant relationships. Usually it wasn't as simple as "if X then Y." I was looking for probabilistic relationships. … We may not always be right but we'd be right a lot more often than we'd be wrong. In baseball, if you win about 60% of your games, you're probably in the playoffs.

One of the other problems is that the traditional metrics and stats used in baseball are muddied with so much noise that just didn't matter that I was having a tough time distilling all the information.

Biology as clinical practice ›› Biology as inscription

Though obsolesced, the administrative numeration found on the extended skin of the sports uniform, which finds its contemporary manifestation in the jersey number tattoo, foreshadows the inscription on the body of DNA recombination and other communications/biotechnological practices.


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