Yossarian. The Curious Search Engine.

Fast Company, this week, published an interesting article about a new search engine called, Yossarian. It’s promise is that it can make you more creative. But the diagram below the headline was more eye-catching than the click-baity hook!


Instead of returning results matching your search phrase, Yossarian returns metaphors. It tries to counteract group-think/ filter failure. They claim, “With Yossarian you can increase the diversity and frequency of your aha moments.”

So far this sounds like a pretty damn good tool for writing! This could really push the “ideas from ideas” philosophy. What sounds even more is the psychology behind interacting with Yossarian.

J. Paul Neeley, its founder, mentions that it takes us a moment to recognize a metaphor when it’s heard or seen because metaphors are not “directly” true by nature. Hence, a metaphor. What’s so fascinating about this, is that through repetition, we can speed up that processing time.

And with repetition, it’s also a fantastic primer! It’s similar to listening to stand-up comedy before writing or speaking. It really loosens up your narrow focus and allows you to think in different ways like inverting or fragmenting ideas to create new ones. Much in the same way comedians or anybody with a bit of wit can do.

There’s also no need to worry about search results being too far fetched either. There’s a sliding scale for search result randomness!
This is no doubt a powerful tool and it’ll requires a thoughtful mind. It’ll show us paths, but it’s our job to choose one. Overall, this sounds like an exciting project.