Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Curiosity’s coming mountainous target

Curiosity's upcoming mountainous target
Click for full image.

Overview map
Click for interactive map.

Cool image time! The photo above, taken on August 22, 2021 by Curiosity’s left navigation camera and reduced to post here, looks ahead at the rover’s upcoming mountainous goals. The overview map to the right shows the area covered by this image by the yellow lines. The dotted red line indicates the rover’s original planned route, with the white dotted line its actual path of travel.

The cliff ahead is about 400-500 feet away. The top of this cliff is the Greenheugh Pediment, its blocky top geological layer visible as the dark cap at the top of the cliff face. Back in March 2020 Curiosity had climbed up to view across this pediment, from a point to the northwest and off the overview map to the left. (Go to this link to see what the view was like from there.) Since then the science team has had the rover travel quite a distance, to circle around to now approach the pediment from the east.

The white box marks the area covered by a close-up high resolution mast camera image, shown below.

Close-up of cliff face
Click for full image.

The photo has been cropped, reduced, and enhanced by me. This cliff face, which I estimate is about 100 feet high, is without doubt to my mind the most spectacular single rock outcrop yet seen on any world that humans have yet visited. If all goes as planned, the rover will work its way along the base, probably getting as close as it can safely.

The cliff face looks like sometime in the past a giant used a hammer and chisel to chop off a big piece. Did an impact cause this? The overview map shows no craterlike impact features at the base of this cliff, making this explanation unlikely. Either the original crater occurred so long ago later geological and climate activity has wiped away all obvious evidence of it, or this cliff face was carved by other processes.

Ice flows? Running water? I am sure the rover’s science team is quite eager to find out.

What also makes this particular outcrop especially different is its massiveness. So far all other cliffs that Curiosity has gotten close to have been made up of many thin layers. This outcrop seems from this distance one massive piece, suggesting it represents a single event layer. Only a closer look will tell us whether it, like everything else Curiosity has so far seen, has many sub-layers within the major structure.

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