If I had brought a book to last night's reading party at the Fireside Room (I only had a notebook with lots of quotes—Heather McHugh liked this one from Antigone: "And death it is; yet money talks"), I would have brought Future of Evolution, a work that is informing a big part of my thinking about post-Darwinian urbanism (I will discuss this during my Pop Life talk on Sunday). Here is a beautiful passage from Ward's book:

Our plane lifted from the lushly verdant Yucatan on a luminous day, and we flew over a starkly visible Mexico. The flight was not very long, and a vista of mountains and forests passed far beneath us. Eventually I spotted a distant mountain, larger than the others, and as we approached I was filled with wonder. Never had I seen a mountain like this before, perfectly dome-shaped, brown in color, impossibly tall, a vision that enlarged and degenerated into implausibility. Our pilot headed straight toward the summit of this great mount, and just as we were about to crash into it, I realized what it was: the air over Mexico City, a mountain of pollution covering the huge sprawl below.
Those are the words; this is the vision:
  • Image by Kainet