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Has paper won?


Active member
It seems like in this day and age everyone is using this newfandangled paper using something called the printing press?

Back in my day we made do with hammer and chisel on a stone tablet and we never had a problem, I just much prefer the weight of it in my hand. I guess it just shows a level of apathy to the effort it requires to chisel out your trip reports.


Well-known member
Like, man, you missed out the whole of illuminated manuscripts, not to mention lead, wood & wax tablets!


Well-known member
I have always preferred clay tablets that can be baked after editing, but my friend says the knotted string books have proven invaluable to record keeping in the Andes


Active member
All this new fangled writing, clay tablets, knotted string and stone carving is destroying the art of the Saga in communicating and recording our caving exploits. Spoken in an almost singing cadence in a smokey hall hut, with an instrumental accompaniment, to enthrall, entertain and inspire fellow cavers to great deeds, a well composed and performed saga will remain long in the memory of its listeners and be repeated across the land. A much more permanent record than ephemeral paper, clay, string, stone, or ones and zeros.

Bright was the day and light our hearts when we met at the Inglesport cafe for breakfast.
The new shiny downstairs tempted us, but we kept our credit cards sheaved.
Fortified with fry ups and with tea quaffed, we leapt aboard our land vessels and set sail for the moors.
Though the weather was cold, we were unafraid. Getting changed, we laughed at the goosebumps.
The gear we donned showed the mud and scars of caving battles past and reminded all of our bravery.
The craven tried to pick the smallest tackle bag, or hid from the choosing, but were mocked and shamed.
The skulking cave hid from us, by not being definitely just over there, but spread across the moor, we ran it to earth.
The first shock of water over the top of a wellington, we entered the underworld, the realm of Aelfheim.
Disdaining the rigging topo our hero searches out the bright gleam of a P hanger.
Swinging and swooping down a thread of twisted line, the pitch foot is gained.
The companions follow, eager to see the strange world below.
Treasures of bright calcite are seen. Marvelous and cunningly wrought by the smith of the underworld.
At the gloomy sump, near the roots of Yggrrasil, we celebrate, each with a bar of the finest squashed chocolate.
Muscles groaning and joints cracking, we ascend to the light and air of the upper world of Mittgard.
Rope is stuffed in to tackle bags. Only the craven shun the honour of hauling them.
Surface regained, in triumph we stride to our land vessels. Our gear of caving with new scars to show our bravery.
Celebration in a local drinking hall. Ale is quaffed and our great deads recounted.
To hearth and home we return. Happy and tired. To heal and restore ourselves for new deeds of courage and wonder.​

Long Drop

Trouble is someone from HBO will be along shortly... They'll chuck in a few dragons and naked women and film it as an epic series in HD ('Rungs of Power'?)... And then we'll be back to digital again. :(
Personally I rue the day we moved away from oral techniques
Allegedly Socrates (Plato suggested he was a bit silly, then they both got drunk - apologies for pinching a bit from Python) thought the use of writing would rot the memory as there would be no need for recall (such as sagas at a later date for example).

Perhaps he wasn't completely correct although I do remember kindly English teacher asking me to learn and recite a moderately long bit of poetry, luckily I've forgotten it all now, if only I'd written it down!

I rather like wellyjen's tale though I think sagas relied on more sound repetitions to aid the teller's memory, maybe not as dire as McGonagall's efforts.

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