University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Twentieth Century Think Tank > Number, probability and community: the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern data model, Monte Carlo simulations and counterfactual futures in cricket

Number, probability and community: the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern data model, Monte Carlo simulations and counterfactual futures in cricket

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The Duckworth-Lewis-Stern model of cricket, used to set targets in weather-shortened matches, is framed around two distinct concerns — fairness and prediction. These two concerns are somewhat at odds with one another. I will argue that the fact that this is a data model raises issues surrounding number, probability and community. The relationship between this model, subsequent Monte Carlo models, and cricket is worth examining because it both stands in for and performs a way in which ‘data governmentality’ might be constructed for society at large. Data models are being used to, for example, determine job applications, college entry, insurance rates, access to credit, voter persuasion, and to monitor health. In this paper, I argue that Monte Carlo models work on and through us by forming new kinds of rule-driven, probabilistic communities oriented towards counterfactual futures.

This talk is part of the Twentieth Century Think Tank series.

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