I went back and read the article a second time. I read it when it first came out, too. A couple things come back to mind with my memory refreshed: 1) My experience burning TP has been different from yours. I have no trouble getting all but a very small portion that sticks to the first swipe to burn, and that will be composted by next season. I know because I have checked sites used the previous year many times out of an abiding interest in this subject. The trick is to flake the paper out in the hole with a twig before lighting. 2) Running around collecting enough suitable rocks seems to me pretty involved, as does using them and disposing of them. I think you said to allow 10 minutes for the process. It takes me less than half that time. I find squirreling the ones that won't fit in the cathole away under bushes especially problematic. Some little critter that is half starved will sniff the stuff out, make a meal out of the it, and then stick his snout in the nearest water source with predictable results. I have followed this thread and its recommended method(s) with a lot of interest and have concluded not that it can't be done, but that it is not a better solution to the problem than what I am already doing. Heresy, perhaps, but I can guarantee you no one happening on my carefully hidden dump sites would have a clue what transpired there, unless they were sharp eyed enough to see ever so slightly disturbed soil around the border of a large rock, gone with the next rain. As for Sierra granite, I have been backpacking down there for 34 years, most of it at or above timberline and while, if you make a project out of it, you can find enough smooth stones to do the job, as a general rule the stuff is pretty weathered. More time than I would want to spend, for sure. I think that if the object is to minimize our impact, the two methods are not that far apart. Beyond that, we're quibbling about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, IMO.
Thanks again for a very interesting thread, one and all.