There is an allure to a Magic 8 Ball. You roll the thing in your hands, you ask it a question, and—presto!—you have an answer. The whole thing is wonderfully simple. The only problem—and it's a big problem—is that it's random. Can you really rely on the Magic 8 Ball's advice? My sources say no.
I've long wished, however, that there could be something similar—a Rational 8 Ball or some such—for big life decisions.
Now there is. Or, at least: There's something that claims to be.
Something Pop is a web tool that promises to help us make better, or at least better-informed, life decisions. The creation of Ben Gimpert, a financial-tech startup co-founder (he built it as a hobby), the tool aims to help us do something that our brains aren't always good at: making decisions based on a clear-eyed, logical assessments of the data at hand. So, say you're considering moving to a new apartment. What's the best location? What's the best price point? How much do you really care about having a gas stove?
Something Pop lets you take each consideration that would factor into your decision and then assign it a weighted percentage that amounts to its relative importance for you. You hit a button—the web-tool equivalent of shaking the Magic 8 Ball—and your answer pops up. (Something Pop's name, Gimpert says, comes from that: Its point is to help the right decision "pop" up from the rest of the options.)