The Sparano Scale™
Monday mornings at Oxide are for traffic meetings. But before we cover anything important, we recap our weekends – which is usually just a movie review-a-thon. These discussions can spiral out of control, but in the end, every movie ends up with some kind of critical consensus. And out of these conversations, we’ve slowly developed a colloquial rating system.
It’s called the Sparano Scale™, and it works like this:
We’ve found that the distribution breaks down so that most items rate at Not Great™ or Not Good™, with a smaller percentage of Good™, and a very, very small percentage of Great™.
Conveniently, the scale works for everything. Sure, it may seem a little silly to go around assigning a rating to everything. But don’t kid yourself. There isn’t enough time to do everything ever. Life is basically about deciding which experiences are really worth your time. If you could get back all the time you’ve spent doing things you wished you hadn’t, and instead spent that time doing things you enjoyed”¦ wouldn’t you be happer right now? That’s what the Sparano Scale™ is about. By making your opinions clearly known to the world, you are encouraing good experiences and preventing bad experiences. In other words, reviewing things is a service to mankind.
There are a lot of transparently important things going on here:
You can slip your ratings into any conversation. But since the ratings are colloquial, no one will realize that you’ve surreptitiously reviewed something.
The magic is fewer choices
Four options makes choices easier. Usually, you can just pick the one that feels right. Ask yourself: was it good or bad? And then, how good or bad was it?
— and enough choices
Some might ask: why not stop at two options, like Rotten Tomatoes and Roger Ebert? With the ability to choose Great™ or Good™ (the positive options), you’re able to isolate the things in your life that have made a real, lasting impression on you. This list of Greats™ is a meaningfully small percentage of all of things you’ve ever experienced.
Meh isn’t helpful
We’ve found that nothaving a middle option makes for easier (and more meaningful) ratings. Because there’s no 3/5 or 5/10, you must make a choice between either positive or negative.
It works for everything
The scale started with movies, but don’t stop there. This is a way for you to easily and clearly convey your experiences to other like-minded people.
Everyone already knows the scale
These same words are already used to evaluate things, but the scale provides consistency of scale. For clarification, it helps if you raise your eyebrows and shake your head with a Not Great™. And when delivering a Not Good™, let them feelyour disappointment. (Remember, your time or money has just been wasted.)
You can use it even when you have too many choices
On a 5-point scale: just skip the 4.On a 10-point scale: use 1,4,7,10.
Your ratings are going to change over time, and you don’t have to defend your choices if you don’t want to – and that’s OK.
Everyone’s Greats™ are unique
This is probably the best part of the scale. When you’ve decided that something is Great™, you’ve connected with it on a fundamental level. Collected together, your Greats™ are like a conversational DNA strand.
— but it’s the overlaps that count
Compare your Greats™ with others. When you find someone with a similar list, you’ve found yourself a new friend – someone you can trust to recommend Great™ new things.
So where do we agree?
You’re probably wondering about the overlaps on Oxide’s Great™ movies list: Adam + Drew: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Up. Joe + Drew: Ocean’s Eleven, The Matrix, High Fidelity. Adam + Joe: Groundhog Day, Zombieland, The Dark Knight. As proof that everyone’s Greats™ are unique: there’s just one overlapping movie for all three of us: The Incredibles. We all agree that Pixar’s 6th movie is a perfectly-paced, cleverly-written, and finely-sculpted masterpiece. Despite disagreeing on the weekend’s new releases – or anything else we butt heads on – our one Great™ movie will always be there to bring us back together.