Laguna Seca

What a way to wrap up the track season. I went to Laguna Seca lately for a back to back two day track event with a couple friends. I'm not fast enough to race quite yet, but have started reading the AFM rulebook and understanding the entry requirements... I think at this point I would be able to qualify for Sunday races but realistically need to get past the back of the pack in lap times before getting out there and going for it. Next season is probably still too early with weekend obligations in LA for business school, but I'm starting to see it clearly where I'll be able to get the times needed to race.

Only In America

I'm feeling all time high levels of patriotism currently, despite the hiccup of California's denial of civil rights on Proposition 8. The reason, I believe - is a realization I've been coming to in the last couple months about one of the greatest aspects of Americans.

When I was in India a couple months ago, I was being instructed at one of India's premier business schools (ISB) by a UCLA Anderson professor, a leader in his field who originally developed real options pricing theory under uncertainty. He was born in Chile, has degrees from Chile, Canada and Spain, lives and teaches in Los Angeles, but visited India to teach this class. One day in class he mentioned something I've been thinking about since.

He suggested one reason for America's economic success is our culture of inclusion. Only in the United States could he become a department chair at one of the most well regarded public universities in the country. Anywhere else he could be teaching, his foreign birth and cultural background would prohibit him from reaching the highest levels of status in the department... not true in the U.S. At 67 years old his belief is advances in the department are awarded solely on merit - regardless of nationality.

An extension of this pliability of attitudes came to my attention recently watching the feature film, "Milk" and also watching a documentary on the dual assassination of San Francisco Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk. It's crazy to think that in the early 1970's the San Francisco police and the Castro neighborhood were in bloody and riotous dispute. The change in the public attitude in the last 30 years in San Francisco is an amazing difference.

This when other parts of the world are currently in contest for events and transgressions of hundreds of years ago. It's remarkable to me the ability of Americans to adapt and learn and embrace new ideas, new people, new cultures, new paradigms and generally change. We don't get everything right - all too often, but this aspect in particular of our country makes me very proud.