The Odd Sock Problem and how to solve it

The problem of odd socks is one of the perennial problems of the modern world. But it is essentially solvable. The main source of the problem is of course that we have pairs of socks which are different color. If everyone had socks of only one color, the problem would simply not exist.
Enter the sock color exchange program.
Sock color homogeneity is essentially a solvable problem. Through co-operation, sharing and understanding, we can reach a state where the world is free of odd socks (is this a desireable state.)
For example – I need about 20 pairs of socks to get from one wash day to the next. I have about 10 pairs of burgandy socks and 10 pairs of black socks and various green and brown ones. If I could find someone who also had 10 pairs of burgandy socks and 10 pairs of black socks then all we need to do is swap black for red and we need never spend 10 minutes trying to find the right color sock again. Of course if you want to solve the problem of the green and brown ones too, you need to get more people together, but if you had enough people willing to swap socks, then you’d have at least 20 pairs of green ones between you and so you could club together and give those to one person.
If anyone is interested in exchanging different colors of socks, please email me on giles at

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