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.


Possible exoplanet detected in habitable zone around Alpha Centauri A?

The uncertainty of science: Scientists have detected faint evidence that suggests the existence of a Neptune-sized exoplanet circling the sunlike star Alpha Centauri A.

After analyzing 100 hours of data gathered by NEAR in May and June of 2019, the scientists detected a thermal fingerprint in the habitable zone of Alpha Centauri A. The signal potentially corresponds to a roughly Neptune-size world orbiting between 1 and 2 astronomical units (AU) from the star, study team members said. (One AU, the average Earth-sun distance, is about 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.)

But that planet has not yet been confirmed, so it remains a candidate for now.

This result is very uncertain at this moment, so we should constrain our enthusiasm. If true, however, it would signal the possibility of more exoplanets circling the stars of the nearest stellar system. Alpha Centauri is actually three stars, a binary of two sunlike stars circled at great distance by the red dwarf Proxima Centauri. Scientists already think there are exoplanets circling Proxima, with one about the size of Earth.

What makes this particular interesting, if true, is that the exoplanet was detected not by the slight wobble its gravity caused in the star, or by a transit across the face of the star, but by its own light. If the detection is real, this would be I think the first time that an exoplanet has been seen directly, even if that detection comprises a few tiny pixels of light.

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