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.

October 22, 2021 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

Embedded below the fold in two parts.

To listen to all of John Batchelor’s podcasts, well worth your time, go here.

Note: this was posted late as I was out in the mountains this weekend, having fun.


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  • Mark

    The Quote of the day goes to Batchelor- “Hey Bob, that’s an Alien Planet”. John exclaimed that when Bob was discussing pictures of the icy Phlegra Mountains on Mars, the view that Curiosity has of a cliff and a high outcropping, and the haze of the Martian atmosphere.

    To confirm Bob’s observation that the US media, and global media, ignored the Israeli – UAE space cooperation story, I went ahead and googled – israel uae space. It’s unbelievable how much this story was ignored – was it Anti-Israel bias, or Trump Derangement Syndrome? Who really knows but this makes the media look pathetic.

    In the ‘Jonah on Board’ discussion, I found it amusing that John referred to the problem of the Starliner Valves as a ‘Jonah’, and in his shownotes writes that a ‘A Jonah” is an expression among sailors uses the term to mean a sailor or a passenger whose presence on board brings bad luck and endangers the ship.
    If I remember right, John is a fan of the British naval novels by Patrick O’Brian popularized by the Master and Commander movie, and that is probably where the term comes from.

  • Gary


    The original Jonah is the “reluctant” Old Testament prophet who ran away from his mission to warn Ninevah of its errant ways and was tossed off Phoenician ship for bringing it bad luck. Shortly after, he was swallowed by the whale!

  • wayne

    here we go…..

    Jordan Peterson –
    ” Jonah and the Whale”
    [excerpted from 2017 Personality Lecture: Historical & Mythological Context]

  • Mark

    Wayne – I’ll call your Jonah reference and raise you a Blade Runner reference.
    My primary comment involved John Batchelor expressing his amazement at Bob’s description of Mar’s geological features.

    I can imagine the Replicant Roy Batty as having visited “the icy Phlegra Mountains on Mars,” – so perhaps an alternative ‘Tears in the Rain’ speech at the end of the BladeRunner Movie might have went:

    “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.

    I have seen 20 kilometer high dust storms while climbing the icy Phlegra Mountains on Mars,

    Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.

    I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

    All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die”

  • Mark

    Since Bob was discussing the Curiosity Rover with John Batchelor, it made me wonder what the status was of future Mars Rover missions.

    Does anyone have an updated status for the ExoMars Rosalind Franklin Mars rover?

    The last BtB report we had was in July 2021, and it discussed Parachute problems.

  • wayne

    Great scene!

    Blade Runner (1982)
    “Tears in Rain” Monologue

  • wayne

    while I’m at it….

    Bladerunner (1982)
    “If you’re not Cop, you’re little people….”

  • Mark

    Since Wayne achieved within 24 hours the ‘hat trick’ of video clip posts, I think Bob should award him a “Make Space Great Again” coffee mug.

    Bob – are those available yet at the Behind the Black online Merchandize store?

  • Mark

    Wayne – I’m sure you caught this, but for those who just skim comments, I took a bit of artistic license with adding the following (based on Bob’s discussion with John Batchelor) to the Replicant Roy Batty’s ‘Tears in the Rain’ end of movie speech.

    ‘I have seen 20 kilometer high dust storms while climbing the icy Phlegra Mountains on Mars,‘

    And there really are Martian Dust tornado like storms that reach 20 kilometers in the thin atmosphere – must be an amazing sight if you see it during a Martian Sunset.

    “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.”

  • wayne

    yepper, I did catch that modification.
    (there is generally a clip for ‘everything,’ but not all clips are available somewhere)

  • Gary

    For anyone interested, Bob is on “The Space Show” with David Livingston today 10 pm- 11:30 pm EDT.

  • Gary: Thank you for reminding me. I need to note this in a post.

  • IIRC, John Batchelor’s education included some time in seminary. That may be why the concept of a “Jonah” resonated with him, per the Old Testament narrative Gary described earlier.

  • Mark

    Gary – thanks for the heads up & I look forward to hearing Bob tonight on “The Space Show” with David Livingston.

    Does the Space Show online Merchandize store have
    “MAKE SPACE GREAT AGAIN!” coffee mugs?


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