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.

Planetary Resources today announced a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign for its space telescope Arkyd.

Planetary Resources today announced a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign for its space telescope Arkyd.

Forgive me if I am less than enthusiastic about this. Supposedly Planetary Resources had big money backing from a lot of wealthy people, including some Silicon Valley Google billionaires. Why then do they need this campaign? It makes me suspect that the company is an emperor with no clothes.


My July fund-raising campaign for 2021 has now ended. Thank you all for your donations and subscriptions. While this year’s campaign was not as spectacular as last year’s, it was the second best July campaign since I began this website.

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  • A million dollars should be chump change for the backers they supposedly have – maybe some backed out since their original announcement. While this Kickstarter campaign seems to be for a single scope to be used by the public, it’s very odd that this would come about well before they have anything more directly financed in orbit.

  • Maybe their backers just have no interest in educational outreach.

    I know that if I was an investor in this company I’d be asking why they’re wasting their time with it.

  • Thankfully I’m not.. so I pledged $100.

  • wodun

    Kickstarter is very trendy these days. It could have more to do with pr than a lack of funds.

  • A bit of both actually. While I’m sure Planetary Resources could have gone door knocking to find 100 folks willing to donate $10,000 to providing space telescope access to classrooms, it wouldn’t have nearly the same impact.

  • Tom Billings

    I vote for describing it as “participatory propaganda”.

    This can be used for good and for bad.

    In WW2, it gave people in the continental US a feeling that they were helping the war effort when they went without sugar, or tires on the car, or meat on one day a week, etc.

    Today it makes people invest emotionally in environmental politics, when they teach their children how to separate their garbage into different containers for newspapers, plastics, yard debris, etc.

    Not least, it could be used as the “thin edge of the wedge” to get respectability for incrementally increasingly costly space projects funded by Kickstarter, by smaller companies, who can grow up to be orbital customers for Planetary Resources.

  • This could also be a form of market research to gauge the level of public interest and get some diverse user experience. It would be interesting to know the cost of building and launching this public access space telescope. I suspect that even without counting development cost, it will cost over a million dollars to deliver on their promises.

  • About $10M I’m told.. and that’s just the marginal cost of this educational outreach telescope.

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