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.

Lava cones, fissures, and channels from Olympus Mons

A lava cone, fissure, and channel on Mars
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken on June 29, 2020 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). In this one spot we see three obvious volcanic features, all however formed by different processes.

The location of this image is west of Olympus Mons. It sits on the vast lava plain that was laid down by that volcano, the largest in the solar system.

In order of likely occurrence, the cone probably came first. It likely indicates a past eruption coming up from below to create a small volcano.

The shallow meandering channel that sweeps around it to the north and east probably marks a later lava flow coming down from Olympus Mons.

The deeper straight fissure to the south probably came last. It is a graben, a crack caused by the uplift of the entire surface because of pressure from a magma chamber below, causing cracks to form as the surface is stretched.

Three different volcanic events, each probably taking thousands of years, with maybe thousands to millions of years between them. The context map below adds weight to the scale of time and size represented by this one Martian photo.

Overview map

This image is sitting close to what scientists have defined as the “sea level” of Mars, or zero elevation. The caldera of Olympus Mons, sits at about 70,000 feet, or more than thirteen miles higher, and more than twice as high as Mount Everest. Moreover, that peak is about 200 to 250 miles away, with the volcano’s first foothills more than 100 miles to the west.

Yet, even at that distance and height, the volcanic eruptions of Olympus Mons and gigantic magma chamber below it helped shape this place, and it did it over a very long time span across a number of distinct volcanic events.

This is volcanism at a scale that is alien to anything so far studied on Earth. It will take a lot of in situ research to untangle it and gain even a superficial understanding of it. Right now we only know that it happened.


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