Accepted Paper:

Qualculation, Non-Qualculation and DAPS or How big-data surprisingly generated scared spaces in Professional Basketball  

Author:

Adir Wanono (Bar-Ilan University)

Paper short abstract:

My paper calls attention to the surprisingly simultaneous growth in both calculative thinking and non-calculative behaviors in basketball and argues that the employment of big-data in the NBA and the emergence of scared spaces didn’t materialize by coincidence but curiously one constituted the other.

Paper long abstract:

Big-data analysis postulates on numeric thinking (Porter, 1995) and STS studies surely illuminate the complex relationship between human and non-humans in many spatial-temporal frames. However, further to Callon & Law (2003) hypothesis, I will call attention to the surprisingly simultaneous growth in both calculative thinking and non-calculative behaviors in professional basketball. Specifically, I will argue that the increasing employment of calculative thinking in the NBA did not only come about at the same time with non-calculative activities, but that one is constitutive of the other, that the entanglement of new actors in calculative thinking initiated the emergence of scared spaces in the NBA, and vice-versa.

Basketball is not a special case and can teach us a few lessons on the relationships between actors in society all together.

The proposed paper aims to reveal the material and discursive arrangements that allow basketball coaches and players to create incalculabilities and how they are being challenged. Furthermore, I will suggest that similar to making calculabilities, making incalculabilities is also not trivial and that it might be much harder to create such sacred spaces in networks that are heavily entangled in calculative thinking like professional basketball. Callon & Law point out on two contrasting strategies of creating in-calculabilities (rarefication and proliferation) and the proposed paper will discuss how both are applicable to professional basketball.

Panel T095
Sport, Technoscience, Medicine and Performance