California used to be different. My Dad was there at Cal Tech for his master's degree and then joined the Air Force, the USAF (i.e. WWII). After the war  he moved back to join  aerospace stuff going on there. The USA was way behind the Soviets in everything related to space including Star Wars (Strategic Defense Initiative, SDI). So my Dad was asked to create a kind of laser communication device between satellites so the Soviets could not eavesdrop on our communications like they could with radio waves. There was a lot of good stuff going on in those days. It was a magnet for talent. The problem is that once it was successful it became a magnet for the wrong types.  I knew some really talented people there and I think there still are some great things going on there in Stanford and Cal Tech.