Pieter Dorsman was born in Vlaardingen, The Netherlands. He left his native soil in 1990, after graduating from university, to start a financial career in the City of London working for Barclays Bank PLC. In 1992 he moved to Hong Kong where he held a number of positions at Barclays and the Swiss investment bank UBS. In 1999 it was time for some fresh air and Pieter and his wife Irene moved to Vancouver. There they reinvented themselves and started working with early stage technology and resource companies. They have two daughters, Nora and Maeve. Pieter blogs at Peaktalk.
Why do you blog? > To get proficient in writing in English, which is not my first language. And there are a few things I want to say.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Same day linkage from Instapundit, LGF, Roger Simon and Michelle Malkin.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Going on hiatus for three months in early 2004. I was too busy on the business side to keep blogging and it caused me to lose some good momentum.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Keep at it and try and come up with something original.
What are your favourite blogs? > The first one I discovered continues to be the best as well as a daily read: Andrew Sullivan.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > George Orwell, Friedrich Hayek and those who seek to resurrect Classical Liberalism.
What are you reading at the moment? > There's a stack of books I still have to read before I can go on to Jung Chang's Mao, which is what I would really want to read right now.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Pablo Picasso, Frank Sinatra, Jim Morrison.
What is your favourite movie? > The Godfather I.
What is your favourite song? > 'The Wanderer' by Johnny Cash and U2.
Who is your favourite composer? > Beethoven, Puccini.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I always strongly believed in the right of the state to disarm its citizens. It's not until recently that I've come to realize that that is no longer a viable proposition in today's world and there is indeed such a thing as a right to bear arms.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > That each person, for better or for worse, is in control of his or her own destiny.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > The one that argues that personal responsibility can be outsourced to third parties.
Who are your political heroes? > Ronald Reagan, Chris Patten, Pim Fortuyn, Margaret Thatcher.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > That tax cuts create more economic activity and thus in the end compensate for themselves.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > In The Netherlands it would be a radical overhaul in the way the country deals with the European Union. In Canada (where I live now) it would be a radical overhaul in the way the country deals with the United States. In the former it would be less integration, in the latter it would be more integration. Integration is a fact of life, but you have to manage it properly.
What would you do with the UN? > Privatize it with only a limited number of shareholders and let it focus only on human development and health issues. International security, safety and human rights were never a great strategic fit for the organization.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Militant Islam, resurgent collectivism and the inability of the free world to deal effectively with both of these threats.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I think we're up for a pretty dark spell, but there is still enough potential for the best to reveal itself in the future.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Never give up.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > Yes, I think I would actually enjoy it.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Computer games, golf, and painting your house.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > The ability of my two young daughters to navigate the world as freely as I did when I was younger.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Southern California.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Driving through North America, visiting obscure towns and places. We do it at least once a year.
What is your most treasured possession? > My memory. I was about to list two very valuable items but really, if they went up in flames it wouldn't change my life that much.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Jimmy Connors and Johan Cruyff.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > Everton. When they were still up there, I had a very soft spot for both Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > Not much. I would be able to invest more in early stage companies, write more and have the opportunity to spend more time travelling with my family. I'd probably give documentary making a shot.
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