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.

The sublimating surface of Mars’ northern plains?

Sublimating patches on Mars?
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photograph to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on May 27, 2021. A sample image, likely taken not as part of any specific scientist’s research but by the camera team in order to maintain the camera’s temperature, shows an area of the Martian northern plains that appears filled with rough scattered depressions, possibly caused by sublimation of buried ice.

The location, at 54 degrees north latitude, is far enough north to easily have a lot of buried ice. It is also only about 40 miles to the east of Milankovič Crater, where scientists have found many scarps that appear to have exposed layers of ice in their cliff faces.

However, the location has other components that must raise questions about this sublimating ice hypothesis.

Overview map

The white rectangle on the overview map to the right marks the location of today’s image, sitting on the edge of the vast volcanic flood plain that descends from the shield volcano Alba Mons. The features we see in this image might also be long inactive volcanic processes, now eroding with time.

The image could also be showing us a combination of both processes, whereby Alba Mons first laid down its sheets of lava, and then over the eons of Martian climate cycles the coming and going of ice and snow acted to wear away these patches.

And even if it is correct that a combination of these two processes explains what we see, it remains a very incomplete simplification of the geology. There must be a lot more going on here, that we can not identify merely from orbital images. For example, there might be very specific materials at each patch that aides the erosion. To find out we’d need to gather samples and do chemical analysis, something that from orbit can only be done in a very limited and uncertain manner.


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