The most obvious observation is the universal presence of libraries at the start of magical journeys. Phil is certainly no different.
To some extent, this may be self-selecting, as prominent British occultists tend to have their own publishing footprint by the time I set the tascam up in front of them, so the bibliophilia probably predates the madness.
However, I suspect bibliophilia is a necessary but not sufficient explanation. And it rather begs the question of whether the internet can completely replace this 'inciting incident' function in an age where libraries are under-funded and closing right across the developed world.
For what it's worth, I believe the internet probably can fulfil the role of starting someone out on the journey, but your magical tea clipper will shortly founder on the rocks without the metaphoric lighthouse of dead trees and lived personal experience.
Not that dead trees aren't treacherous, of course. Indeed, Phil and I discuss him being in the peculiar situation of authoring some of the cornerstone texts of a movement, chaos magic, that he is not even slightly involved in.
We also discuss tantra, living on a kibbutz, what constitutes a magical career, his excellent blog; enfolding.org and a brace of other subjects.