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.


Peeling thin layers on a Martian plateau

Peeling thin layers on Mars
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped to post here, was taken on May 14, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows what the science team labels as “light-toned layered deposits.”

Their focus, rightly from a geologist’s perspective, is the contrast in color between different layers, suggesting different composition and thus a different formation history for each layer.

To me, what made this feature appealing is the thinness and number of its layers. It reminded me of fillo pastry, “unleavened flour dough formed into very thin sheets or leaves.”

If you look at the full image you will see that cropped section only covers one edge of a tongue-shaped plateau, with similar layers revealed along its entire cliff wall. It is almost like those layers have been peeling off for eons to leave the plateau behind.

The location below gives some context.

Overview map

The image, marked by the white cross, is in what is called Ladon Basin, an outlet drainage valley [pdf] that poured northward into the resurgences that came out of Valles Marineris. Here scientists have found many features suggesting strong flows which they assume at present to have been catastrophic floods, though this remains unproven.

In the above image, the downhill grade is to the north. You can also see that grade in the small eroding drainage hollow in the image itself. If a catastrophic flood poured over this at some time in the past, it eroded material away to the north.

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