Towering advantages for the same lesser revenues
Height, not for pleasure...
Ancient technology was wholly based on a belief that if you stood high enough, you could see all sorts of things coming at you... Whereas we use towers for power & pleasure, ancient people only ever went as high as was required in order to gain some vital advantage, or a little higher, to escape a greater danger. Height meant protection. It was practically never sought for residence. Celebrating a wedding on top of a hill was unheard of in ancient times. Probably an old superstition, that divorce would happen sooner. People didn't have so many appliances & furniture in the house, so if a woman decided to leave her husband, she was entitled to take marble & columns—the man was left with a piece of land...
Someone eventually realised that a higher vantage point would be help survival even better. A mariner first had this idea, which took on so slowly, society never enjoyed high living until the Gothic Cathedrals were raised—in the Dark Ages, of all things! Unruffled, the sailor recycled his own fleet, making his ships big enough to withstand a taller mast.
Lookouts could see more & better than anyone else, and should have become highly popular figures; but didn't. First, because these higher advantages didn't prevent centuries of mishap offshore. There were many inland battle disasters, too—costing a billion lives, all combined—mostly due to a misuse of height, whence the cliché, delusions of grandeur...
Sonar, radar & radio technologies were chiefly responsible for the end of an old career in land-sighting, weather & wave predicting. Traditional Lookouts could do all this, and more, simply by standing a little closer to the clouds than everyone else... Modern equivalents sent Crow's Nest to Hollywood, for a try—not that we see a man on a mast that much at the movies! Who wants to be the Black Buccaneer's tide-warner, anymore? These days, a man might sue the Studios for being forced into playing such an ancient part—worse, if they gave him the part because he looked right for it! And that's not counting the stress incurred from the loneliness, up there...
Thanks to satellite & radio-astronomy,
Crow's Nest now reaches high as the sky and deep into eternity
itself. To put the seal on that old job, and on the past as a
whole, modern intellects are so
refined as to express infinity or bring it right there, with a
few strokes on a blackboard...
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