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.


Engineering in the Columbia River Gorge

Because yesterday’s hike up Eagle Creek to Tunnel Falls (see picture below) was particularly long, 12.5 miles, I took a break from posting when I got home. Today (Monday), however, was a more easy-going day, as we did more ordinary tourist stuff, driving from place to place with only short strolls at each stop.

Tunnel Falls

The most fascinating tourist stop of the day was by far Bonneville Dam. Just as the security guard at the gate let the car in front of us through, her phone rang. When she was finished and came up to our car, she explained that we would have to wait about a half hour before going to the visitor center, as they needed to open the swing bridge so that a barge could go through the locks. At first I thought this was very unfortunate timing. In the end, it turned out to be fortuitous indeed. We parked at the viewing area above the locks and watched five barges, tied tightly together as a unit and pushed upstream by a tug, slide gently into the lock with barely inches on either side. Neither Diane or I could believe how little spare room the tugboat captain had to pilot this massive object. The gigantic downstream doors then closed (while I quipped that music from Star Wars should be playing) and the lock was quickly filled with water, raising the barges/tugboat up almost a hundred feet. The upstream doors than opened and the barge headed out. All told, the whole operation took less than 45 minutes.

The barges enter the lock

The barges with the lock filled

We then took a tour of the dam’s first power station, with its ten turbines all in a row. Unfortunately, none were operating at the moment. Nonetheless, whenever I see places like this (such as when I visited Hoover Dam back in 2005), I can’t help but be reminded of the scene from the science fiction movie Forbidden Planet, when Walter Pigeon gives us a tour of the Krell underground machine. Unlike the Krell, however, it didn’t take millions of years for us to learn how to build such breath-taking big dams and power stations. We did it less than 150 years after the discovery of electricity!

Bonneville Dam power station

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One comment

  • Kelly Starks

    …And people wonder why anyone thinks we could do something as complicated as colonizing other worlds or mining asteroids. Heyy we’ve been sculping rivers adn gorges for over a hundred years, whats a silly moonbase!

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