The Guardian | From zero gravity to ride & tie, the quirky hobbies of the tech elite

May 11, 2016

The Guardian — April 8, 2016 | Olivia Solon

This is a summary. Read original article in full here.

For Silicon Valley’s successful tech entrepreneurs the world is a playground of creative ways to unwind, and even boost productivity. Long hours, high stress and overwhelming pressure — the work culture of Silicon Valley is notoriously unforgiving.

So it’s not surprising that tech entrepreneurs find creative ways to blow off steam in their spare time.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, for example, spends time learning flying trapeze, while former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is an avid beekeeper.

From DIY rocketry and zero gravity flight to sonic meditation, many tech execs need more than yoga to claim their me time — and say it helps them feel more fulfilled, relaxed, productive at work. But it’s also a revealing insight into what makes them tick. Here, in their own words, 8 entrepreneurs explain their favorite extra-curricular activity.

name: Ray Kurzweil
hobby: collecting Alice in Wonderland memorabilia
day job: currently a director of engineering at Google, heading up a team working on machine intelligence

Ray Kurzweil discovered a painting of the girl Alice Liddell by artist Terry Guyer — the inspiration behind book Alice in Wonderland — in a fair in San Francisco, CA.

In his own words: The first piece I collected related to Alice was a facsimile of a 90 page handwritten manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, written by Charles Dodgson, otherwise known as Lewis Carroll.

The manuscript was written for and inspired by Alice Liddell. Later he expanded this into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and it became a world-wide success.

Decades later Miss Liddell needed money and sold the original manuscript. I have since collected various original editions, annotated editions of the book, and some paintings.

Alice is emblematic of the imaginative alternative realities we will create with emerging tech.

Once I was walking in a San Francisco, CA city fair and recognized the girl Alice Liddell in a painting by artist Terry Guyer. I was familiar with the photograph of Alice by Charles Dodgson — that Guyer had based his painting on — so I bought the painting.

I also have a painting of the White Rabbit by Grace Slick and a hologram of the Cheshire Cat, who disappears when you move leaving only his smile.

related reading:
Terry Guyer | main
Terry Guyer | oil portraits: main
Terry Guyer | oil portraits: Alice Liddell

Lime Light Agency | art of Grace Slick

image | portrait of girl Alice Liddell, inspiration for Alice in Wonderland
Oil painting by artist Terry Guyer from a photo by Lewis Carroll.