My Influences

Posted in Website content on June 26th, 2012 by Peter Baker

In writing a travel and philosophy book dealing with humanity’s cultural and political evolution, in addition to physically exploring the world, it was necessary to do a lot of reading.

For those interested in world history, global society, cultural and technological evolution, the wider human project or the worldview expounded in The Jolly Pilgrim, below are a list of my key intellectual influences, in rough order of importance. Read more »

The State of Humanity – some numbers

Posted in Worldview on June 21st, 2012 by Peter Baker



The often-accepted narrative of a world in decline is inconsistent with the facts. Judging the state of humanity from first principles – that of a species of evolved, fallible apes on a rock with no rule book, making it up on the fly – is not only the most realistic way to think about human civilisation, but lends itself to a profoundly optimistic, big-picture reinterpretation of today’s social, economic and geopolitical realities. Read more »

Media update – June 2012

Posted in Book updates on June 15th, 2012 by Peter Baker



Middlesbrough Literary Festival

Doing a talk at the Middlesbrough Literary Festival, next Tuesday 19th June. Among other things, they want a reading. I was thinking ‘Wide-Angle Lens’ (starting at the bottom of page 66). Any other suggestions?

Read more »

Media Update – May 2012

Posted in Book updates on May 4th, 2012 by Peter Baker

Recent media for The Jolly Pilgrim:


The Actuarial Post - article and review

The Actuarial Post published an article about the book, along with a marvellous (and, dare I say it, insightful) review by a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Click here to see it. Read more »

Jeremy Paxman – Sarah Agassi interview in ‘Empire’

Posted in Miscellaneous on April 27th, 2012 by Peter Baker

This post is off-topic from this blog’s normal subject matter, for reasons explained below.



My father was a dispatch rider for the Royal Army Ordinance Corps, in Palestine, between 1946 and 1948. During that time a terrorist organisation called Irgun planted a bomb at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which was then the headquarters of the British Army and the Palestine government. It killed 91 people. Read more »