Why ‘Moon Shot’ Has No Place in the 21st Century – WIRED

Why ‘Moon Shot’ Has No Place in the 21st Century – WIRED

Marissa Mayer
This story is part of a series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.When Marc Antony’s troops allowed their Parthian enemies to set their siege line on fire in 36 BC, their enraged com­mander knew what punishment they deserved. As told by the Roman historian Livy, he “visited those who had played the coward with what is called decimation.” He divided them into groups of 10.
In each group, nine soldiers were issued rations of barley instead of wheat, an insult to their honor and nutrition. The tenth man, chosen by lottery, was executed.Reserved for cowards, mutineers, and the like, decimation in Antony’s world meant removal of a tenth. Today it’s used to describe total annihilation. Of course, it’s not the first word to slip its specific meaning and enter broader usage. .


Fifty years after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, planted an American flag, and flew home, the term moon shot has become shorthand for trying to do something that’s really hard and maybe a bit crazy.President Barack Obama launched a moon shot to cure cancer.
Democratic presidential candidates Kirsten Gillibrand and Beto O’Rourke have called for moon shots to stop climate change. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer once said her moon shot was to get her products "on every smart­phone, every tablet every day, for every internet user." The Global Wellness Institute’s Wellness Moonshot aims to eradicate preventable, chronic diseases. All of them. And of course, Google X—now the Alphabet subsidiary known simply as X—runs what it calls a Moonshot Factory™, pouring investors’ money into self-driving cars, internet-slinging balloons, and similarly loony projects.WIRED SERIES Apollo 11, the Moon, and the Future of Space ExplorationLike the original moon shot, these are big, hard problems that demand significant investments of time and money, along with innovative technology and thinking. .

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