California has won my heart, and I’m ready to set up a west coast office any time (when someone offers me space, that is). I don’t mind the flight, either, but what really rubs me the wrong way is airport security. I’m all for security, when it’s effective and worth the cost (in terms of money, privacy, and time). But what you and I currently have to endure is ineffectual and misdirected systems that are making some people rich, and creating an atmosphere of fear that is irrational. Some people caught onto the business opportunity of 9/11 very quickly: I got into quite an argument at a Boardroom Reports dinner at the Four Seasons in New York in October 2001 with other guests who were touting their security companies as the solution to global terrorism. I felt a little embarrassed by my speechifying (about how we need to tackle the causes of terrorism, understand global perspectives, all that stuff that infuriates the military guys), so it was nice that a number of people jumped in to agree with me. That, in fact, is how I met Dan Burstein, a technology investor and author of Secrets of the Code.
I’m all the more pleased that Berkshire will soon be providing the public with one vital source of facts: the U.S. State Department’s Patterns of Global Terrorism reports. Our two-volume edition will be out in late August.