Sometime in the late 15th century someone must have said "Now Gutenberg has invented the printing press, the university lecture is doomed". Before books, the lecture was an incredibly efficient delivery system, The Guardian reports. Someone in a cassock, reading at dictation pace to rows of younger, equally cassock-clad men, was the best way of spreading the word. But in the age of printing, why bother? Yet the lecture survived the book. It survived the cassette recorder, although students did occasionally record their lectures, as I did once as an undergraduate. Sadly, I fell asleep at exactly the same place...

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