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.

Update on attempts to bring Hubble back to life

Engineers have released an update on their attempts to bring Hubble out of safe mode that are indicating that they are honing in on the cause of the problem.

After performing tests on several of the computer’s memory modules, the results indicate that a different piece of computer hardware may have caused the problem, with the memory errors being only a symptom. The operations team is investigating whether the Standard Interface (STINT) hardware, which bridges communications between the computer’s Central Processing Module (CPM) and other components, or the CPM itself is responsible for the issue. The team is currently designing tests that will be run in the next few days to attempt to further isolate the problem and identify a potential solution.

This step is important for determining what hardware is still working properly for future reference. If the problem with the payload computer can’t be fixed, the operations team will be prepared to switch to the STINT and CPM hardware onboard the backup payload computer. The team has conducted ground tests and operations procedure reviews to verify all the commanding required to perform that switch on the spacecraft.

It appears that no matter what solution they arrive at, they will still require several days to test the solution to make sure it works. This update however is very hopeful, as it does appear they are locating the cause and have avenues for fixing it.

Hubble went into safe mode on June 13, which means it has now been out of operation for more than ten days.


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  • Jay

    C’mon Hubble! I know it has a 80486, a real-by-God microprocessor, in the backup computer.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Yeah, the next one was the 80586, AKA the “Pentium”!

  • Jay

    Yep, I remember the first Pentiums well. There was that floating point error in the first run. I used the 486DX4 for three years before going over to the P5, by then the bugs were fixed.

  • “This update however is very hopeful, as it does appear they are locating the cause and have avenues for fixing it.:

    Reminds me of cars I owned in my late teens/early twenties. Even if the current problem is fixed, or worked around, it’s an old piece of hardware, It seems with Hubble, we are fast approaching, if not already past, the point of inflection on the cost-benefit curve.

  • wayne

    Jim Keller:
    “Moore’s Law, Microprocessors, and First Principles”
    Lex Fridman Podcast #70 (Feb, 2020)

  • Edward

    Jay wrote: “I remember the first Pentiums well. There was that floating point error in the first run.

    I had a license plate frame made up that said “Pentium — When close is good enough.” At stop lights, over the next couple of years, I saw in my rear-view mirror three people laugh their heads off.

  • wayne

    You Engineer’s, kill me!

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