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.

Blue Origin releases video from inside capsule

Cool movie time! Blue Origin has released a video taken from inside this week’s test flight of its New Shepard capsule, showing the entire flight.

The link provides some information about some of the experiments the capsule also carried. I have embedded the video below the fold. Definitely worth watching.


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  • Edward

    Fascinating. I believe that this is the first time I have heard the inside of a spacecraft during launch. We have all heard voices from astronauts before, but they are wearing helmets and the interior sounds are muffled at best and possibly attenuated. It looks like, New Shepard astronauts do not need helmets.

    Meanwhile, I have decided to personally nickname the test dummy “Alan” in tribute to Alan Shepard, the namesake of the rocket. I hope this does not make me ineligible to be a future part of the Blue Origin team.

  • ken anthony

    I think it was a mistake to release this video. I’m not sure what the ticket price is, but it will be significant. They’re trying to sell tickets to tourists and removing some of the mystery is just not a good idea for that market.

  • ken anthony: You might be right, but I disagree in this case. This is such a radical way for people to spend their money they need to convince people it will be safe and fun, not deadly and horrifying. This video helps prove that.

  • Mark

    Unfortunately Edward, the crash dummy already has a name. Prepare for groaner.

    “Mannequin Skywalker”


    from Jeff Bezos’ tweet linking this video…
    “Full video of Mannequin Skywalker’s ride to space. Unlike him, you’ll be able to get out of your seat during the zero gee part of the flight. And ignore the pinging sound – it’s just from one of the experiments on this flight. #NewShepard @blueorigin

  • ken anthony

    they need to convince people it will be safe

    Of course, but they went too far. This is barnstorming for more money and less thrill (did Skywalker look like he was having fun?)

    Going to earth or lunar orbit is where these tourists will want to go. With diminishing returns (if it develops at all, which I suspect it will on a small scale.) I expect point to point will take over this market.

  • Edward

    I know that they gave him a terrible, although culturally timely, name. I prefer a better, more company themed name. The rockets honor pioneering astronauts rather than fictional characters; perhaps their test equipment could, too.

    SpaceX already names some of their equipment from fiction. Perhaps Blue Origin should try not to look like they copy everything that SpaceX does.

    ken anthony,
    I think that the only way to show how much fun the flight could be is to show a video of people having fun. Emphasis on “people.”

  • ken anthony

    the only way to show how much fun…

    Which will be immediately compared with all the fun the same money could provide in alternative ways… Leaving a market of just those that don’t really care (no repeat business.)

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