I hiked out with a bunch of friends to Inspiration Point on Saturday night. It’s a bluff above the mission that looks out over the entire city. It’s about three miles uphill. We took it pretty fast and when we got to the top some of us were a bit winded, others wheezing, but the skyline had opened up, and all of us were happy to collapse on the ground and enjoy the view.

The city lights stretch for miles and as you look out they never quite end. At the coastline, sailboats and oil platforms take up the shining torch, stretching out toward the horizon where they meet the sky, and turn the entire world into one giant field of stars.

It’s the kind of sight that releases the pins from your brain – lets it float about. It can make you think about a lot of things; about humankind’s great technical achievement or the threat to the environment, clich