AIF Blog

Highlights from Day 4 of Aspen Ideas

Jul 02, 2012
CATEGORY: Science, U.S.A., World

The Afternoon of Conversation is Aspen Ideas' signature event, and ths year's was no exception. More than 2,000 people gathered in the Benedict Music Tent to hear a variety of speakers.

Here are some highlights from the afternoon.

Wu Tong surprised guests with an unannounced Random Act of Culture by planing the sheng, an ancient Chinese wind instrument..

"There is no issue of patriotism or morality or economic prudence that’s more importance than what we leave to our children. What I cannot understand is why people think that what we have left to our children is measured only by the number of dollars there are in the national debt—that it’s not measured in whether their schools are decent in quality, their infrastructure is repaired, or American leadership has been perpetuated." —Lawrence Summers


"I told (President Ahmadinejad) frankly that the countries that I’m talking of are all prepared to accept the reality of Israel in exchange for bringing peace and doing justice to the resolutaion of the dispute. Iran has not accepted the reality and not prepared to accept the reality." —Pervez Musharraf


“We ought to hit the pause button on an avalanche of regulations.” —Mitch Daniels


"How exciting is it to sit at your desk and do a calculation that goes beyond everything that’s transitory and reveals truths about not just what goes here on earth, but in the entire universe?" —Brian Greene


"[The greatest threat to US security is] our schools. A third of high school kids don’t graduate. They’re not eligible for the military. In the remaining 2/3, you have legal and physical problems, so only a third is even eligible, and that’s the same third you’re competing with Yale, Harvard, and so on for, so it’s a national security issue. We can sort the other things out around the world—we have the ability and the technology and the forces to do that. —Stanley McChrystal


"Anyone who has heard the president speak, healways says “this isn’t about class warfare—we cherish and want to nurture success. We just want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be successful.” This is a country built on a strong middle class, which is good for business. If you’re hiring someone, you want to make sure they’re coming in qualified, with a good education." —Valerie Jarrett


"Pictures from Tahrir Square were moving to many people, but there is absence of real Jeffersonian democracy in the Arab world. —Ehud Barak