I have a thing for ruins. I would rather walk through an airplane graveyard than a pristine rain forest, or explore an abandoned shopping mall than a snow-covered mountain. Alain de Botton understands this impulse: “Ruins pose a direct challenge to our concern with power and rank, with bustle and fame. They puncture the inflated folly of our exhaustive and frenetic pursuit of wealth. . . . The disintegrating Continental Airlines 747 . . . seems the equivalent, for myself, of the Colosseum in Rome.” (The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work 315).