I've always thought the best way of learning was to listen to people. Living in Santa Clara County provides many opportunities for cross-cultural education. In my law practice, for example, I've had the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world.
The number of people in Santa Clara County who were born outside of the United States is around 40%. Most cities near ports or oceans tend to attract ambitious travelers, and San Francisco has attracted what appears to be some of the most ambitious Asians, who have brought their cultural values of education and family to California:
SJ Merc on Diversity
California may suffer from inept government--the budget crisis is still ongoing, for example--but the people who live here tend to be open-minded, which allows California government to make mistakes that would not be tolerated elsewhere. It remains to be seen whether California's signature open-mindedness and tolerant attitude will continue its status as a magnet for ambitious immigrants, or whether its high spending will cause a decline in competitiveness.