Time magazine has unveiled its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Listed as a Scientific Philanthropist, Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen is on Time’s list this year: 


Harvard Professor Steven Pinker wrote a short but eloquent synopsis of Allen’s life and achievements—in fact, I couldn’t help wishing that I had been the one to say it.:-). 

Here’s an excerpt from the Time Magazine article:

“Paul Allen is the world’s most obscure celebrity, its hippest geek, its most flamboyant introvert….………

………….Having made his fortune as innovatively as he did, Allen has always been diligent about spending it just as imaginatively.  He bought the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL and the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA to keep them in his beloved
Pacific Northwest, and he bankrolled SpaceShipOne, winner of the Ansari X Prize for the first private manned spaceflight.

Most promisingly, he established the Allen Institute for Brain Science, which has produced an atlas of gene activity in the mouse brain, mapping 20,000 genes so far. Nobody, arguably, needs to know that much about the brain of the mouse, but science always needs to know more about the human brain, and since the first often serves as such a fine template for the second, Allen’s work can help advance the entire neuroscience field.

Shy in personality but dashing in vision, Allen shows how a thoughtful billionaire can make the world not just a better place but also a far more interesting one. ” _______________________________________

Pretty nice, eh? 

It is interesting that the Psychology Professor who wrote the article noticed the contradictions in this man—Allen really is a mystery.  He’s also a deeply spiritual hedonist, a playboy philanthropist, a sentimental technologist, and a left-brained artist. He’s a guy who lives the life of 10 people with such reckless creativity that it reminds me of that Jack Kerouac quote: 

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”

Not that I’m partial or anything……