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Jimmy Carter

Nobel Prize for Peace

The Israeli people want peace. The Palestinian people want peace. The Jordanians do, God knows. The Lebanese people want peace. It's the political leaders who are the obstacles, because they are too inflexible, and they are looking at their own sometimes very narrow political constituency to give them restraints which they can't break. Someday though, there will be leaders there, like Sadat and Begin then, who will truly represent the desire of their people for peace, and then we'll have success.
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Jimmy Carter

Nobel Prize for Peace

I'm the only president that's ever visited Africa south of the Sahara Desert. I went to two (African) countries while I was president, and I didn't know the potential of that continent, nor the challenges that faced those people. Now I do. To a much greater extent I didn't understand the [widespread] problems in our own country, from a personal point of view. I was dealing with billions of dollars that would be allocated for education or health or welfare or housing, or whatever. But I didn't know from a personal point of view the people that actually were in need or that were the recipients of those quite often inadequate and ill-designed programs. Another thing was that I didn't really see as clearly as I should have the perspective of the then preeminent Cold War. I think we could have reached out more to try to form some sort of working relationship, perhaps with people that we looked on then as adversaries. That was a potential there that may not have been adequately explored by me as a president. I've also learned since then the wide diversity of characteristics of nations in this hemisphere. We tend to look on South Americans as one kind of people, but I've seen that they are just as varied as are the differences, for instance, between the United States and Mexico. There is a tremendous fear of the United States as a dominant superpower that's always been too ready to send U.S. troops into their nations to act as superior, arrogant oppressors, under the guise of protecting liberty. We invaded Panama recently with what most Americans looked on as a glorious victory. We killed a thousand Panamanians unnecessarily, primarily to arrest the leader of Panama, who had been in bed with our own government, at least the CIA, up until shortly before that. And to us it was a great victory. We defeated Panama. But to the Panamanians, the people who died, it wasn't. So I see now much more clearly that our country can accomplish its goals, not merely through military action, but through the promotion of peace.
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Jimmy Carter

Nobel Prize for Peace

People underestimate the potential of a former president. I happen to be one of the youngest ones who ever survived the office. And the access that I have to world leaders is unlimited. I don't mean just political and military leaders, but leaders in the field of education or health or agriculture, food production, environment. And so, this is one aspect of it. Also, the influence we have. We can bring together people who have a common goal, like immunizing children or planting trees or solving the starvation problem in Africa, where they're all working at the same target, but in different ways, and create a team effort that can be enormously more successful than any of them can be working independently. And I have some ability as a former president to dramatize a particular problem, and to reach the news media and therefore reach the consciousness of people.
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Steve Case

Co-Founder, America Online

Steve Case: When I read The Third Wave I didn't think of it as futuristic. I mean, I thought of it as being sort of the next big thing. It just struck me as obvious that some day consumers would want to decide what they wanted to see and how they wanted to get it, and not just be passive recipients sitting on a couch with a remote control, watching television or picking up a newspaper. They wanted to somehow interact and do research on things, or talk to other people or what have you. At the time in the late '70s there was -- personal computers didn't really exist. Certainly home PCs didn't really exist, but everybody had a television, so the initial focus for the first years -- in the late '70s and early '80s -- was, "How do you create essentially interactive television, two-way television?" And then later in the '80s, really when PCs started becoming more common in homes, that's when the shift was more profound towards PCs. But the Alvin Toffler vision of this, and sort of how an electronic community might form, as I said, I buy into that. I remember even when I was in college and writing, sending resumes out to different companies, my cover letter really talked about, "We're about to usher in a new digital age, and with two-way televisions and more of an electronic frontier " And this was 1979, I guess, and most people 25 years ago, I think, thought I was a little bit loony, but I just believed. And so, I just kept pursuing that.
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Steve Case

Co-Founder, America Online

Steve Case: When I got involved in the industry, which was in 1983, I joined a company that had a product for video game machines, because back then, while very few people had PCs -- the Apple II had just come out, and the IBM PC was just coming out, the Macintosh hadn't yet come out, for example -- that a lot of people had Atari video game machines. And so the idea was, well maybe you can take an Atari video game machine, where people plug in a game cartridge, and plug in a modem, and tie that into a telephone, and essentially turn that game in the machine into an interactive terminal. Initially to download games, almost like an in-home arcade, but later for downloading e-mail or stock quotes or what have you. I thought it was a great idea, because at the time I knew I wanted to get involved in this sector.
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Steve Case

Co-Founder, America Online

I remember when we had -- I think it was two or three hundred thousand subscribers. I said, "We're going to get a million subscribers. We're on a march to a million." And people thought I was crazy, because they thought we'd never get to a million subscribers. We were adding, I don't know, it was, you know, 1,000 subscribers a month or something and you'd say, "Well geez, people will be dead before we get to a million subscribers." I said, "Well, we're on a march to a million and we're going to get there and here is how we're going to get there and here are the things we need to do to get there." And after a little while, a few months, people started believing we can get there, and we did get there. And we got there faster than people thought, and then we were basically on a roll, and the growth really started to accelerate. So it really was setting out that mission. It wasn't exactly the equivalent of "Let's put a man on the moon," but for us this march to a million was a big deal, because it meant we were going to go from being a little company, kind of this tiny little upstart, underfunded, nobody ever heard of, competing against giants like IBM and Sears that had Prodigy, and H&R Block that had Compuserve, and GE that had Genie, and this little company was sort of irrelevant. If we got to a million, we felt that kind of put us in the big leagues, so we were on this march to a million, and we got there.
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Steve Case

Co-Founder, America Online

AOL -- five years ago it was growing rapidly. It was highly valued. It had a lot of things going for it, but the one area of risk and weakness was as it related to broadband technology and higher speed access. Time Warner owned one of the largest cable systems, Time Warner Cable, that provided broadband connectivity to homes and also owned the largest library of branded content, CNN and Warner Brothers and so forth. And so from my standpoint bringing these companies together would enable AOL to not just embrace broadband, but really become the leader in broadband by leveraging the distribution capabilities of the cable system and also the content assets to have a differentiated service offering. On the other side, from the Time Warner perspective, they had some great businesses that had been built over the last century by great entrepreneurs like Henry Luce, who built Time, Inc., and Jack Warner, who built Warner Brothers, and Ted Turner who built Turner and CNN. But it was being left behind, or ran the risk of being left behind, as the world became more digital and more interactive. The ability for AOL to provide sort of an Internet DNA and sort of a different perspective, that could help transition some of those businesses into a future where the growth rates were higher. Music, for example, embracing the concept of digital delivery of music as opposed to simply complaining about piracy, I thought would significantly advantage Time Warner.
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Steve Case

Co-Founder, America Online

My bet is that the predictions we have regarding the way the market would work -- and how convergence with technology and then industries -- will blur the lines so you won't think of the motion picture industry or the television industry as really totally separate. And similarly, some of the principles of the Internet, which allow people to decide what to get when they want to get it, will become more common in television. I am a big believer in personal television. A company like TIVO has popularized the notion that you pick shows and record them and watch them when you want, which is how you use the Internet. You pick web sites and peruse them when you want. I think that's the way television will evolve, and people will think about television more about shows, just like they think about web sites, and less about networks.
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Johnny Cash

Country Music Legend

It goes back to that music teacher when I was 12 years old. After the third lesson, I was singing some popular country song of the day. I forget the name. I think it was a Hank Williams, no, it was too early for Hank Williams, I guess. Whatever the song was, I didn't sing it like the artist had sung it on the radio. And she said, "You're a song stylist." She said, "Always do it your way." And from the age of 12, I didn't forget that. But that was the way I had to do it, because it was the way it was with me. I had to do it my way. I couldn't read those notes, singing those great songs, like a lot of those singers could, but I could do it my way -- the way it felt good to me. And that's what music is all about, emotion.
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