Solomon Table: Complicated and useless
The decisions we make play a major role in our lives. What college should I go to: Smith or Skidmore? Even small can ones add up: Should I stay in or go out for a drink? Most of these decisions don’t require a lot of thought. But there are times when you simply have to whip out a notepad and make a good ol’ pro and con list. Fortunately, I’ve never had deal with anything that the trusty pen and paper couldn’t help me through. Solomon Table is an app that bills itself as a way to make a sensible verdict on major life decisions. It’s an intriguing idea and would definitely save me from the late night calls from friends who desperately need to talk through various “what should I do?” scenarios. However, my intrigue was short-lived. Solomon Table uses a complicated-looking interface: a “table” is covered with a lot of numbers representing values and percentages. It’s not immediately obvious what to do, so my next instinct was to find a tutorial or examples that the app might have included; they were not helpful. With a little bit of tinkering, I did eventually figure it out. On the top of the table, you have your “options” (e.g. ‘Sports car’, ‘SUV’, ‘Cadillac’, etc). Running down the left column you have “parameters” (‘cost’, ‘speed’, ‘luggage capacity’, etc.) and then there are scroll bars that let you give each option’s parameters a score of -10 to 10. Based on the overall average of the score of the parameters, you are given the best or worst choice. The concept of the app is not very complex. It’s as if you made several pro and con lists, gave each pro and con a value from -10 to 10, and averaged the numbers out. It could be useful in principle, but there are very few decisions in life for which this kind of system is appropriate. The only problem time when I would probably use Solomon Table is when I am deciding which house to buy. Although, to be honest, now that I know the inner-workings of Solomon Table, I would probably just do it with pen and paper.