Cultural Evolution, and God

Posted in Website content, Worldview on May 24th, 2013 by Peter Baker

Religious institutions have always been in a state of evolution. They will continue to be so, and in the long run, contemporary theism-atheism debates will come to be seen as an argument over semantics.

Once upon a time I used to describe myself as an agnostic. Then, during a two-year, round-the-world adventure I took it upon myself to read the Abrahamic scriptures. Read more »

50: The Sustainability of Civilisation

Posted in Diary posts, Worldview on December 8th, 2012 by Peter Baker

It’s time to add meat to the bone of the worldview sketched-out in The Jolly Pilgrim.

Thanks to all those who commented on that optimistic worldview. Bar these counterarguments, the central critique seems to be that – even though we live during the most enlightened and open-minded, least violent, least diseased, best fed, wealthiest, coolest, most exciting epoch the world has ever seen – it won’t count for much if Earth’s ecosphere goes into meltdown.

That’s a good point. Thanks to those who’ve made it. Read more »

Sustainability and economic growth are not mutually exclusive

Posted in Website content, Worldview on November 24th, 2012 by Peter Baker

The Jolly Pilgrim called for a longer term view of civilisation.
This follow-up article argues that environmentalists should be more imaginative
about the possibilities for economic evolution

PDF version: Sustainability and economic growth are not mutually exclusive_Peter Baker

In the past two centuries, human civilisation has experienced an unprecedented increase in global gross domestic product (GDP) – economic growth associated with a precipitous rise in material prosperity, which has left sixth sevenths of Earth’s population enjoying living standards beyond those of all but a small minority who lived prior to the Industrial Revolution.

Read more »

49: Olympic aftermath, summer rundown

Posted in Diary posts on August 30th, 2012 by Peter Baker

To see a mad visual of this summer: Click here (use your mouse to move it around)

I’ll remember the Olympic Closing Ceremony until I drop dead or go mental. Read more »

World Systems (excerpt)

Posted in Website content on August 22nd, 2012 by Peter Baker

The Jolly Pilgrim, Part 7, musings 32

This excerpt deals with the fact that our historical context, and our brains’ internal hardwiring, leads us to think about the world in a certain way. Climate change is used as an example.


Every night on my way up the east coast I was pouring out my heart into the weather-beaten and black gaffer-tape-reinforced notebook I carried. Since visiting India, I’d stopped writing poetry.

By this point I was on a mission. The notion I’d absorbed during my travels was that there’s an approach to thinking about the world – a modern approach – which is ready to be synthesised by someone with the interest, time and head space. So that’s what I’d do.  Read more »