Today, you are a member of… Hovercraft

Dirigibles, Members! You’d think after its dubious safety record the dirigible would go the way of the sporty Corvair. But that’s not how invention works; rather than necessity or brilliance or even sound principles of design, inventions such as the one Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin patented on this day back in 1889 keep on, keeping on because of one of two simian tendencies: mass adaptation or bulls-eye specialization. And since none of us are tooling around in personalized gassy fly-bys, the Count’s brain monster seems to be a survivor of the latter magnitude. And what does a dirigible have that all other modern aerospace design does not? A lumbering elegance that is the ability to hover and thus observe. And though this week the futurist manifesto of acceleration as the sexy smear of madness will be nigh, best to take the slow road and remember, you can’t see shit at high speeds.

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