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.


Astronomers: If there are artificial Dyson spheres out there, we can detect them

In a preprint science paper published on October 26, 2021, astronomers review the impact a Dyson sphere might have on its central star and conclude that modern astronomical instruments should be able to identify these changes. From the abstract:

The search for signs of extraterrestrial technology, or technosignatures, includes the search for objects which collect starlight for some technological use, such as those composing a Dyson sphere. These searches typically account for a star’s light and some blackbody temperature for the surrounding structure. However, such a structure inevitably returns some light back to the surface of its star, either from direct reflection or thermal re-emission. In this work, we explore how this feedback may affect the structure and evolution of stars, and when such feedback may affect observations. We find that in general this returned light can cause stars to expand and cool. Our MESA models show that this energy is only transported toward a star’s core effectively by convection, so low mass stars are strongly affected, while higher mass stars with radiative exteriors are not. Ultimately, the effect only has significant observational consequences for spheres with very high temperatures (much higher than the often assumed ~300 K) and/or high specular reflectivity. Lastly, we produce color-magnitude diagrams of combined star-Dyson sphere systems for a wide array of possible configurations.

A plain-language description of the paper can be found here, which summarizes this work as follows:

This study shows that Dyson spheres can result in measurable changes to stellar properties. Megastructures have long been confined to science fiction, imagination and certain video games. However, if there are indeed Dyson spheres out there waiting to be found, we could soon be in a position to find them.

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4 comments

  • Mike Borgelt

    Mike Combs “Eyes Shining in the Dark” makes the point that Dyson spheres aren’t actually physical spheres and you might only be intercepting a small fraction of the light from a star. Loved the story BTW.

  • wayne

    hmm…I would put forth the proposition— maybe ‘they’ should concentrate on detecting things-which-actually-exist, but then again ‘they’ are absolutely convinced magic invisible stuff exists.

  • Jeff Wright

    If magic dark energy exists…maybe FTL and anti gravity could too.

  • Col Beausabre

    “Artificial Dyson Spheres” – as opposed to the naturally occurring variety? (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

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