Things versus stuff debate, Ig Nobel 1994
Here is my suggestion for a possible title (only 259 words!)
Just STUFFit! (no, I mean THINGit!)
You can set your THINGS down over there,
but what I said just isn't fair!
What it is we might all bring
to this event not everyTHING.
What I said just isn't fair!
Though all the THINGS that you can wear
can be counted one by one,
counting Coke is not much fun.
This can I brought is a THING,
but what's inside just doesn't ring
true to that analogy --
a ``stuffit'' mentality.
Yes ``stuffit'' is what you say
when putting another point away.
But you must mean the air inside
and not the ball's outer hide.
A game of basketball it is,
made of points that are his.
They are things by decree,
because he is the referree.
A radio transmitter is a thing,
but radio itself I cannot bring.
Radio is a wave going through the air,
radio is STUFF, I do declare.
But when I start and stop the wave,
a ``wavelet'' I have but cannot save,
for it is not an article,
nor is it a particle.
Not a particle and not a wave,
just a dumb analogy I gave.
This whole topic is of fluff,
not of THINGS and not of STUFF.
Take it with a grain of salt,
keep on counting you cannot halt.
Dust it settles to a slime,
grit and dirt and grease and grime.
Got to go now, got ``things to do'',
That's not fair, it's ``stuff to do''.
This whole thing was just a game,
This whole stuff is just the same.
--Steve Mann, 1994
Things versus stuff debate, Ig Nobel 1995
In the subway, on the way to the debate
Just before the debate