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### Re: How many different varieties (color, size, etc) of socks do you have in your sock drawer?

by jaredor (Priest)
 on Oct 02, 2016 at 06:37 UTC ( #1173111=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Zero, there are no sock drawers in the house. However, there is a communal sock basket, which is because no one will fold socks.

• With teenage females, the number of different pairings will explode combinatorially because brightly colored socks are a thing, but matching the socks aren't. (Admittedly, my sample size is one on this.)
• There is a Gresham's Law for socks: When two or more people share the same size feet and prefer the same style socks, the good socks will be squirreled away somewhere safe and the bad socks (holes, bad fabric, limp elastic, etc.) will remain in the common basket.
• The amount of socks in a common sock basket scales linearly with the number of people living in the house; however, this relationship holds even if some of the inhabitants habitually wear open-toed shoes and sandals. There is ongoing research to explain this paradox.
• Another phenomenon observed is that large collections of socks will attract "miscellaneous items that have been washed". This leads me to the following conjecture: As the number of socks in the sock drawer increases, so does the likelihood that the sock drawer contains things that are not socks. Alas, since I don't possess a sock drawer I can only theorize in this area, but if this conjecture is found to be true I claim it to be counter-intuitive, since fewer socks should leave more room for other junk. Left for the philosophers is a related question: How many non-socks does it take before "a sock drawer" becomes "not a sock drawer"? Kind of a Ship of Theseus flavored conundrum.
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Re^2: How many different varieties (color, size, etc) of socks do you have in your sock drawer?
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Chancellor) on Oct 02, 2016 at 07:14 UTC

The ship of Theseus, also known as Theseus' paradox, is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object.
I just realised that the well-read Larry was probably aware of this philosophical teaser when he wrote:
Seriously, what makes Perl Perl? If someone decides I'm ugly and beats my face to a pulp, and later I get a face transplant, am I still me? If my bones rot and are replaced with synthetics, at what point am I a different person? Syntax is just skin. Semantics are just bones. Neither is the soul of Perl, which rests in the realm of pragmatics.

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