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.

Ingenuity’s 12th flight successful

Ingenuity's shadow just before landing.

According to the Perseverance science team, the Mars helicopter Ingenuity successfully completed its twelfth flight on Mars early yesterday, making a short scouting round trip over an area called South Seitah to provide images that the team can use to plan the rover’s future route.

All told, Ingenuity flew just under 1,500 feet flying about 30 feet above the ground for just under three minutes. The picture to the right was taken just before landing, and shows the helicopter’s shadow on the ground. It is one of six so far downloaded. The remaining images will follow later.

The announcement was made on Twitter, and included some embarrassingly over-the-top prose:

The #MarsHelicopter’s latest flight took us to the geological wonder that is the “South Séítah” region.

South Seitah is hardly a “geological wonder”. It is a sandy area with some rocks and interesting geology.

I’m not sure why, but the Perseverance rover team seems prone to do this with their press releases and announcements. The claim they make over and over that Perseverance’s prime mission is to look for ancient life is junk Now they call a relatively undistinguished and small area on a crater floor a “wonder.”

Makes one think they somehow feel a need to justify what they are doing, something that is patently absurd. They are controlling a robotic rover and helicopter tens of millions of miles away as both explore a place on another planet no one had ever visited before. That certainly is spectacular enough, and does not need purple prose to justify.


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  • Gary

    I look forward to the day we have helicopters exploring the Jovian and Saturnian moon systems.

  • Mark

    Perhaps Ingenuity will discover a real “geological wonder”. and name it ‘ Purpureus Pannus’..

    Here is a fun fact about the phrase ‘purple prose’ . According to Garner’s Modern American Usage, the phrase purple prose “derives from the Latin phrase purpureus pannus, which appears in the Ars Poetica of Horace (65-68 B.C.)”.

    Horace compared flowery writing to sewing patches of purple fabric on clothing. At that time, purple dye was so expensive only the most opulent of the pretentious upper crust could afford it.

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