By the time someone yells rock, you hear it and can respond, you're likely already paste. Many times the climber isn't even aware they've kicked something off until it hits the ground.
Both those statements are inaccurate. Second one first: If someone isn't aware they hucked something when it happens, it's extremely unlikely they would realize it when it hits the ground. Maybe if someone screams up to them about it, but the item hitting the ground is not what made them aware....
About being paste by the time someone yells - you imply that it's not worth bothering to alert, and that seems bizarre. Some idjit newb might read your post and think "well, this one says it's not going to make a difference anyway, so might as well not try." That's got to be a hell of a lot more dangerous that trying to walk across hwy 299 from the campground, which has got MPNA all aflutter.
1) Things don't usually silently and cleanly drop through the air. Often there is plenty of sound as something comes down: the initial scuffling sound of a rock scraping along rock, snapping branches from trees as it passes through, ricochet off ledges..
I don't know about you but I have had plenty of opportunity to see something come down, or be alerted to it, and respond, and I don't believe my reflexes are above the average.
Year before last some person was bringing a newb along a traverse, while we were doing trailwork on the base underneath. The newb was utterly oblivious that they kicked off a HUGE dead tree limb. I mean - HUGE! How they could not have noticed is beyond me, and I can only assume the were in denial when they later told their leader they hadn't noticed.
At any rate - LUCKILY one of our trail crew guys say it and yelled LOOK OUT! COVER! or similar. We then heard the scraping sounds of something coming down...
I'll only speak for my own response, but I had time to see what was coming, realize my dog was in the drop zone, decide what to do, and run/lunge for him, pulling him and myself close to the wall. I was probably 10 feet away from him when the alert came, and they were on a ledge not more than 60 feet or so up.
If that tree limb had hit any of us directly, it would very likely have cause bad injury if not killed. As it was, debris was sprayed in a really wide radius, that all five of us, who were working in a spread out fashion, caught some of the schrapnel.
If you drop something - HELL YES alert others! Would you rather have your day slightly disturbed by hearing someone yell "Rock! Rock! Rock!" or have to help in the sorry out for someone who got hit by a rock that you knew was coming down and said nothing?