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.

NASA has suspended all spending for education and public outreach.

NASA has suspended all spending for education and public outreach because to the sequester cuts.

The list of programs suspended are as follows:

  • Programs, events, and workshops.
  • Permanent and traveling exhibits, signage, and other materials.
  • Speeches, presentations, and appearances, with the exception of technical presentations by researchers at scientific and technical symposia.
  • Video and multimedia products in development (and renewal of existing products).
  • Web and social media sites in development (excludes operational sites).
  • External and internal publications, with the exception of Scientific and Technical Information as defined by NPD 2200.1B.
  • Any other activity whose goal is to reach out to external and internal stakeholders and the public concerning NASA, its programs, and activities.”

I am sure this list excludes the normal public relations press release operation. If so, it seems to make a great deal of sense to me. Most of this stuff is really unnecessary and has literally nothing to do with NASA’s primary goal of developing new technology for the exploration of space.

And if the cuts also include press releases, that won’t be much a disaster either. I am sure we can live without. It will just mean that science writers will have to do some digging to get their stories, rather than wait for NASA to tell them what’s important.


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  • Pzatchok

    Since the traveling exhibits are already on the road why not just let the next place that wants them come up with the cash to bring it to them?

    You know, let private industry and donations support the project like everything else is done.

  • wodun

    I am a little conflicted because some of this stuff is cool to watch but I don’t think they do a particularly good job at it overall.

    It is telling that NASA chose to cut this part of their budget instead of Cross Agency Support, who’s budget is hovering just below $3b a year.

    “Keith’s note: This is just insane. How much money will this actually save? NASA’s response to the sequestration is to go out of its way to not communicate with the outside world? Is any other agency doing this? ”

    Oh up to $138m depending on how much they suspend.

  • Ooh, the Muslims aren’t going to like that.

  • mike shupp

    Actually this makes some kind of sense. I suspect of these traveling exhibits and presentations are aimed at telling audiences things like “In 2015 NASA will send a spacecraft to Mars … in 2018 NASA will …. in 2020 NASA …”

    And now all those dates and missions are in shambles, and nobody knows if things are going to be patched up again later this year, or perhaps next year, or maybe not till long after Obama is out of office and the country feels prosperous again. What’s the point of telling children “Men will be at ML-L2 in 2021, and on Mars 2035!” when all those wonderful plans may be dead by December?

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