Thursday, 23 July 2009


Missmarketcrash is recalibrating.  What a delightful word.  This word has been busily employed as of late with regard to the financial crisis.  Colin Gleadell, in his article on the art auction markets in the summer issue of Art Monthly, noted that recalibration was the phrase bandied about by Sotheby's with regard to the current contemporary art market.  He ends his article noting that "more recalibration could be in order".  

On FT Alphaville, recalibration appears here in an article entitled "How U.S. institutions are recalibrating strategies".

Recalibration is a second fine tuning of a measurement standard.  That is, as far as I can tell.  It is a word often used, but seldom pinned down in meaning.  In fact, it is not a word at all according to my very large compact edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.  

The current usage of recalibration implies an adjustment of expectations rather than the second fine-tuning of a measuring standard.  In other words, it is asking for a change in reality, with the measured results looking more "realistic" against the new background.  This usage generously hovers close to the original non-definition, invoking a sense of accuracy.

Accuracy lies at the crux of the recalibration usage mania.  With murky times, we want sharp glasses.  Accuracy is satisfying in these times.  Recalibration gives us a sense of accuracy and control.  It is the proverbial rose-tinted glasses, but, for a more precise type.  Like an accountant.

There-in lies the appeal of recalibration.  It is much like a change in accounting standards.  It makes things look better.  

Yes.  If our expectations are recalibrated, it can all run rather smoothly again.  The new accuracy is gaining momentum.


Leigh Caldwell said...

Ooh, you are a cynic.

There is no real economy anyway, except for the few remaining bits of coal and potatoes that satisfy our daily needs and occupy about 1% of our lives these days. Everything else is based on agreements, expectations, contracts, perceptions, and promises.

All of those only exist in language, relative to whatever mental structures we have created as context for our lives. If we can change those structures, then all the relativist objects sitting in front of them will be immediately revalued. That's a perfectly valid way of reconstituting the emotions and utility that we get from our lives.

One might even call it "creating your own economy".

missmarketcrash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
missmarketcrash said...

yes. your words are wise. wiser than the title.