Back in the fall of 2007, Wired held a contest to create a new slogan for NASA in lieu of NASA’s internal favorite: “NASA explores for answers that power our future.” Yeah, not so good, but the hive mind of the internet doesn’t always produce spectacular results either. In this case, the top three entries were:

  1. Exploring Other Worlds, Understanding Our Own
  2. NASA: Explorers Wanted
  3. NASA: Bringing the Universe to Your Doorstep

So… not great. My own not-so-great entry was one word with a period that I thought captured the idea that would sell NASA to a budget-minded public. With appropriate typeface and logo-ization, the word would appeal to that innate sense that we’re part of something bigger, part of a progression, that the burden is now entirely on us to take the next giant leap. Simple and yet leaden with the weight of childhood dreams.


Well, it got no traction and disappeared among the thousands of other suggestions that people felt strongly about. Today, I’ve been vindicated! There’s no way I could waste such a rare moment. Looks like someone else has seized on the power of that word (and on my preferred strategy of a “getting shit done” message).

While it appears to be just the name of this video, the Obama campaign could do far worse, in my not so valuable opinion, than use this word as an organizing principle. Behind it would be the primary, emotional messages: under control, getting things done, and doing what he says. The action equivalents of confidence, work ethic, and trust, respectively.

I’m not pushing any politics here, just interested in the way sets of positions and compromises can be emotionally bundled.