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.


India’s space agency creates new bureaucracy to encourage commercial space

The new colonial movement: In a televised speech yesterday, the head of ISRO, India’s space agency, outlined the steps they are now taking to encourage a new private commercial space industry, which appear centered almost entirely around the creation of a new bureaucracy.

Sivan announced in detail, reforms intended for the space sector, which were approved by the Cabinet Wednesday. The prime change, the ISRO chief said, is that the private sector will no longer be confined to just supplying components but will now be able to build and launch satellites and rockets, provide launch services, perform intensive research and developmental activities, participate in ISRO’s science and planetary missions, and offer space services commercially.

To facilitate the private sector presence in ISRO, the agency has launched the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), an independent nodal agency, Sivan said. “The agency will ensure safety, security, and quality, engage in monitoring space business activity, enable ease of business at low cost for private players, ensure permission and authorisation of private activities,” he said. “It will also act as a nodal agency for hand-holding and promoting private sector in space endeavours, aiding ISRO to share technical expertise and facilities.” [emphasis mine]

This might work, but I have my doubts. While the first paragraph in the quote above sounds great, the second quote kind of blows the wind out of the sails. Rather than letting their private companies operate independently, ISRO is going to supervise them closely. Under such conditions it is unlikely an independent space industry building cutting edge and risky new technology can truly prosper. If ISRO does not like what a private company wants to do, all it will have to do is simply not give them permission to do it.

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2 comments

  • Tom Billings

    “Rather than letting their private companies operate independently, ISRO is going to supervise them closely.”

    This is the *best* we can expect from “The Babu State”, that is the operational arm of government in India. This much is probably the result of epic battles/bargaining inside the bureaucracy.

    It could have been worse. Remember that Indira Gandhi had a KGB handler at her side for around 2 decades. The Bureaucracy blossomed from its size under the Raj throughout the reign of the Congress Party. During that time government control of private technical development latched down tight!

    “If ISRO does not like what a private company wants to do, all it will have to do is simply not give them permission to do it.”

    As is the norm with any imperial bureaucracy, …which is exactly what India is still burdened with. The Babus have run India for each succeeding Empire since the time of Asoka. India’s people *do* have more say today than at any time in their history, but the agency costs of “The Babu State” remain, and the process of cutting it down is tortuously slow.

  • David M. Cook

    Unless this bureaucracy is willing to grant (not loan!) hard money to any start-up company, they will only be an impediment to private space development. Only a fool would invest where there is no true freedom of decision-making.

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