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.

Why I use Linux, part 2

Microsoft has changed its options so that Windows users will no longer be able to refuse an upgrade to Windows 10.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 nagware campaign has entered a new phase, with all options to evade or escape an upgrade finally blocked.

Recently, Microsoft’s policy had been to throw up a dialogue box asking you whether you wanted to install Windows 10. If you clicked the red “X” to close the box – the tried-and-tested way to make dialogue boxes vanish without agreeing to do anything – Microsoft began taking that as permission for the upgrade to go ahead.

Now Microsoft is changing gears. It has eliminated the option to re-schedule a chosen upgrade time once you’ve confirmed it while also removing the red “X” close option from the screen.

The moral dishonesty here is vile, to put it mildly. Microsoft is enforcing these upgrades by offering a series of sneaky bait-and-switch options that are intentionally designed to fool the user into doing something the user doesn’t want to do. And the company is doing this while still claiming that it isn’t forcing anything on anyone.

When you find yourself dealing with a lying snake-oil salesman, you only have yourself to blame if you continue that relationship and get screwed.


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  • James Stephens

    Yah, It’s drama like this this that has brought a lot of people to Linux and Mac too for that matter. Microsoft’s chaotic release cycles are a real problem for Developers and large fixed deployments. You have to stop what you’re doing and fool with it. You probably have to rebuild and test the software stack incurring downtime and expense. I just talked to a franchise operator who’s hundred plus stores are dead in the water due to this unscheduled forced update millions lost. The expensive software which they just deployed now useless with W-10. He’s moving to Red Hat which insistently always has supported this software. Also the move to a security enhanced Linux will save him a bundle in insurance costs and processing fees. If Microsoft would stick to fixed or at least simi-rolling release cycles like Linux a lot of this drama could be avoided. And controversial as I know this last point will be, given the ever changing policies and release cycles can Microsoft really be counted upon to be an enterprise class vendor.

  • Wayne

    An additional diabolical thing MS did recently as well; inside the Microsoft auto-update feature, they changed Windows-10 from an optional-update, to a required-update. Depending on your setting’s, it is going to self install whether it tells you or not.
    -It’s also coming up on 1-year since they released 10, and that is allegedly the cut-off date for getting a free upgrade if you run windows-7 or 8.

    As I’ve mention previously, I’m immersed in Windows but that wasn’t by choice initially & it morphed into pure inertia & laziness on my part.

    If I had to do it all over again, I’d have went with open source all around.

  • PeterF

    My microsoft typewriter still runs windows XP. Of course its a lot slower than it was originally with all the upgrades and fixes before they stopped supporting the software. I keep thinking that someday (when I get a “round tuit”) I’ll just wipe it and reinstall the original software. But I don’t want to waste anymore of my mortality (and I refuse to waste any more of my money) on microsoft. Disconnected from the internet, its just an electric typewriter with memory.

  • Robert

    My mother got the dreaded update auto download and called me. I had her decline the license agreement and it uninstalled and restored the old system perfectly.

  • Laurie

    I used to joke that our computers were using us…

  • James Stephens

    Robert, I told people to do the same. Let’s see if they get nagged.

    What I’m afraid of is because Microsoft is trying to move everyone from W-7 W-8 W-8.1 to W-10 and then drop support for everything else. And then so called upgrades won’t be free. I can see how it since for Microsoft to support only the heavily monetized OS which buys into they’re subscription software scheme. Great revenue generator for them. Judging from the reactions I’ve seen so far people resent this approach. Much as Microsoft would like to think so the PC is not a phone. For psychological reasons as well as some good practical reasons I don’t think this is going to work very well. It’s especially unsuited for enterprise deployments. I’m so glad I moved to Linux years ago. Nothing else compares! I think it only fear of anything other then Microsoft that keeps people on that bandwagon.

  • Michael

    My computer guy installed GWX Control Panel. The web site is

    I may be living in a fool’s paradise but I have not yet bothered since.

  • Michael

    make that “been bothered since”

  • Garry

    I’ve been x’ing out that update for nearly a year now, but when it came up (again) this morning I remembered reading here that x’ing out will cause the update to run. So instead I called up the Task Manager (control+alt+delete) and closed the popup window. It worked (so far).

    When things slow down, I’m definitely looking into Linux.

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