Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Phenomenon of Sock Affinity

Each of my two sons has about fifty pairs of socks, mostly white sweat socks, with all different logos, sizes, shapes, and styles--that's because my wife wife buys whatever socks are on sale, and apparently she doesn't believe in running low on kids socks. You throw dirty laundry, including socks, into a basket. You bring the dirty laundry to the basement where it gets thrown in a pile with other dirty laundry also containing socks. Eventually you put the dirty laundry in the washer machine. You throw the wet laundry into the dryer. You sort the dry stuff out into various piles. After several iterations of this, you end up with piles of white socks of all different logos, sizes, shapes, and styles that have to be matched. You do the matching because no one else will. You would think that with all the tossing, the tumbling in the washer and dryer, and the sorting, that the socks would be randomly distributed in the piles. Yet time and again, when you pick out a sock, the matching sock is very close to it in the pile.

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