Join the Trend: Wear Odd Socks

by Richard Dawkins

Stephen Potter, in one of his splendid “lifemanship” series of books, recommends odd socks as a woomanship ploy to arouse the maternal instincts (“Buy our patent Oddsox brand”). But there’s a much better reason to wear odd socks.

How many hours have been taken out of your life in quest of a matching sock? How many perfectly good socks have you wastefully thrown away simply because the matching sock is lost, or has a hole in it? Shoes and gloves, like proteins and many other molecules, have chirality: there’s a left one and a right one and you can’t rotate either to make the other. Hands are chiral, so are feet. But (with rare exceptions) socks are not. Socks fit feet more approximately than shoes, and any sock will fit the left or right foot equally well. So, unlike shoes, there’s no obvious reason why you have to buy socks in pairs. Theoretically you could buy a dozen identical socks and choose any two of them at random each day. If you lose one, no matter, you now have eleven from which to choose. But alas, as far as I know, socks are only ever sold in pairs. And that’s ridiculous.

My solution is to abandon the attempt to match socks altogether. Wear odd socks deliberately, the more different the better. Brazen it out. Wear one red and one blue sock, as I am today. Or one yellow and one green. I wouldn’t go so far as to wear odd shoes. I don’t think the fashion would catch on, and anyway it would be bad for the gait, might make you limp. But socks are another matter. Be bold. Make a fashion statement of odd socks. Fight the tyranny of the matching socks. Sock it to conformity. Be an individualist, not a slavish sock puppet. Matching socks suck.

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75 COMMENTS

  1. Point taken. In fact, my last purchase of socks was a dozen, in 6 pairs. Once out of the bag, they were (and are) interchangeable. It does kind of bug me when one has a hole that my great toe sticks out of and the other is new, but this is an opportunity to practice tolerance. 😉

    This topic also reminds me of a math (“maths”) professor from my college years who would wear mis-matched socks on April Fools’ Day and one red/one green just before Christmas. His great delight was to point these out to the class, after being noticed by almost one student. Thanks for the memory and the laugh!

    Steve

  2. I am frequently mocked by my friends for wearing odd socks and I tell them that life is too short for sock sorting! There are too many interesting things to think about. I now feel vindicated and will be sending them all this post!

  3. My daughter started this as a fashion statement a few years ago. It looks great when she does it. Me I don’t have the courage of her convictions when I try.

    Be bold (like Richard) or its just a mistake!

  4. @OP -How many hours have been taken out of your life in quest of a matching sock? How many perfectly good socks have you wastefully thrown away simply because the matching sock is lost, or has a hole in it?

    .. .

    Agrajag #1
    Apr 18, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Point taken. In fact, my last purchase of socks was a dozen, in 6 pairs. Once out of the bag, they were (and are) interchangeable.

    6 pair packs are good as up-front planning, but a subtle compromise is socks in matching colours but with any patterning matching in form but in a different colour!

  5. It really made me laugh.
    In fact, I have dozens of socks that are all equal, just have to open the drawer and take two, and never loose time matching it (this solution came out of my mind after I have loose too much time matching it, fiiling sacks of socks hoping to find the pair in the future).
    At first I have made a recommendation to family members to pair the socks always, after use, but the recommendation didn´t work, so I really addopted the solution of buying always the same socks at dozens.
    I wore in the 80´s one sock of each colour, it was “an existentialist fashion” at the time actually, including one blue and one red, when I was about 17 years old.
    I have a friend, a too independent psychologist woman I know from youth that prefers to live separately of the man with who she has a relation, and she just said me once, I don´t support the question “where are my socks” daily.
    Poor husbund, he just has to open the drawer and take two socks, or just have to throw one away at times, he does not have any choice.

  6. For the seriously obsessive you can buy socks with the day of the week on the bottom. Then you really have to search the sock drawer. The ones I have the week days are basically black and the weekends coloured.

  7. Well, my socks are all black, that way if the house is on fire, I don’t put on the “wrong” color. I wouldn’t want to be caught with dirty underwear or non matching socks in an emergency……………

  8. I’ve had rather a long and sad day, and reading “matching socks suck” from one of the most estimable people in the world was the only thing that could have brought a smile to my face. Carry on, Richard! TLO

  9. Surely there’s an “Odd Socks Society” somewhere in the UK?
    Their motto may be: “All socks are equal. But some socks are more (or less) equal than others.”

  10. John #16

    Going by what I have learned on this site about OCD and the sliding scale in all of us, I found this.

    “Whereas a person with symmetry concerns is caused great distress by their obsessions”

  11. I’ve never been able to wear matching socks all my life. I don’t know how people do it. I’ve never though of sorting socks. I’ve seen it on tv, but thought only people with corporate jobs do it. But seeing Richards socks, make me want to go out and buy a whole bunch of good quality boldly coloured socks to be unable to match! I’ll have to create a new wardrobe to suit them. What kind of consumerist agenda is going on here?!

  12. John

    Is there some underlying evolutionary reason why the majority preference is matching socks?

    Display of superior organizational skills?

    Display of laundry skills. -Can do laundry and at the end of the day come out of it with seven sets of matching socks all with the tops folded down over the pairs? -Impressive!

    Isn’t so myopically immersed in the minutia of lab work that he can make pertinent observations on the most simple and basic fashion trends? -Remember that lab scientist dude with the bondage shirt? Uh-oh…

    As part of a power suit, says – I’m a good earner. Resources! Come on ladies, get your resources here! Mismatched socks do kind of wreck that message… 🙂

    Isn’t on the way to the dementia ward with one (purple socked) foot on the slippery slope and the other (green socked) foot on a banana peel. Cognitive sharpness – a very attractive quality in males.

    Since this is all about display, we have to go with sexual selection. 😉

  13. “sock it to me“, ‘Fox in Socks’?!

    @ #16

    Rather than preference, it may have to do with not wanting to be the “odd man” out, avoidance of points and stares.

  14. Nearly all my socks are black, though not all exactly the same shade, and there are among them socks of many different weaving-patterns. It is a weekly task to match all these black socks by their weaving-patterns (I actually enjoy it; it is like a meditative exercise). It just would not feel right if I wore a sock woven one way with a sock woven another way — a subtle imbalance would surely result, and heaven alone knows what might then happen. But perhaps I could buy sets of socks of assorted colors and woven the same way, and then try mixing the colors to wear.

    In any case, Prof. Dawkins, it is heartening to know that you are well enough recovered now to concern yourself with such matters.

  15. Cairsley #24
    Apr 19, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Nearly all my socks are black, though not all exactly the same shade, and there are among them socks of many different weaving-patterns.

    Most of mine are white – to go with the trainers!
    Some have different colour strips or patterns, but multi packs usually have matching patterns even if they don’t have matching colour patches.

  16. I for one shall get involved in this poptastic new idea. while mastering the rubiks cube and wearing a sweat band and global hypercolour t shirt to the discotheque.

    I’ve been buying only black socks for the last 20 years and saved at least 2 of my live’s times in pointless pairing-up

  17. Hahaha Thanks for the advise professor! Hope you’re getting well in due time. Best wishes!
    PS: You could work on a new books

    Thanks!

  18. With one red sock and one blue some might think you were halfway between a Republican and a Democrat. Of this I’m sure you’re not…

  19. With one red sock and one blue some might think you were halfway between a Republican and a Democrat.

    A magentaian -the hidden foot?

  20. My dear professor, although completely useless, I’m whishing you keep doing well.

    I must thank you that you closed my eyes and thereafter I could understand the wonders of life and science. I appreciate too much your bravery and style to bring both evolution and your thoughts to the layman. I’m another since I knew of your work. I converted to reason in the middle of the selfinsh gene reading. My story is not important. What is important is that your memetic material is spreading through this meme survival machine which is writing now.

    Plus one to socks trend and I would suggest to stop ironing our clothes. I’m sure no explanation is required.

    Thanks

  21. Good Morning socks!

    A pragmatist speaks! But what if some enterprising sock company starts producing chiral socks? Shoes are chiral. Certainly the Romans followed the Greeks in wearing sandals, and they too were chiral. Were the Romans not individualists, slaves to Greek philosophy? Until the time of Constantine around 300 AD the Romans were ALSO atheist to the core, though not as easily identifiable as the Greeks as being atheist. I have the curious notion that Christianity itself was an Atheist production, geared to help the Emperors in Rome rule Empire, but that’s just a pet theory of mine. Certainly there’s nothing in the ‘Bible to indicate that Noah’s flood was simply a story about his wife having a very intense and liquid orgasm! And certainly the story of Creation wasn’t a philosophical statement about solipsism, that once you take the leap of faith and admit the existence of other people, you will have created the world around you in an instant. Nudge nudge, wink wink, the Bible is just superstitious hooey.

    I have been wearing un-matching socks for years, but of course I’m not a newly decided pragmatist.

    Good day, sir!

    James

  22. Shocked to hear this from an Englishman! One must have standards! I am kidding, everybody! I can’t join, however, I need more rules and structure not less. My natural inclination would be to run around in my birthday suit if I could get away with it. I have worn mismatched socks in the past but don’t have the insouciance to pull it off as a fashion statement nor could I get away with it as a mark of eccentricity. But it’s OK – my sock matching expenditure of time is not begrudged.

    Now that you’re sowing ssome sartorial wild oats, Professor, when will we see you in some Vans? No socks necessary at all!

  23. James M Constantino #33
    Apr 20, 2016 at 3:36 am

    Until the time of Constantine around 300 AD the Romans were ALSO atheist to the core, though not as easily identifiable as the Greeks as being atheist. I have the curious notion that Christianity itself was an Atheist production, geared to help the Emperors in Rome rule Empire, but that’s just a pet theory of mine.

    You do seem to have a fertile imagination, so perhaps a little historical research would help!

    http://www.roman-empire.net/children/gods.html

    Many Roman statues, would indicate an absence of socks!

  24. Forgot to mention on my previous comment: on the leftside of Professor Dawkins there is a funny wood sculpture that looks like a snake form with a baloon´s face (a childish baloon´s face), what is it I wonder.

  25. Alan4discussion writes:

    http://www.roman-empire.net/children/gods.html

    Interesting that the Romans, who were great fans of Greek philosophers, would have such a facile view of religion, keeping shrines to house spirits and praying to Minerva for wisdom, and then having Jupiter screw everything in sight as the just and moral leader of the pantheon. It is very curious. Perhaps people in later times would write of us, ‘the americans worshipped football, and the pantheon of football heroes were enshrined in canton ohio in the football hall of fame’. Nary a word about football being an Atheist production will be mentioned in the textbooks, and we will be viewed as superstitious and primitive. No gladiatorial battles will be fought in the literate circles in the future, when they talk about how it was in the 21st century!

  26. James M Constantino #38
    Apr 20, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Perhaps people in later times would write of us, ‘the americans worshipped football, and the pantheon of football heroes were enshrined in canton ohio in the football hall of fame’.

    American Football and Soccer, are near religions – certainly for some of the dedicated fans – not to mention players kissing the ground or crossing themselves!

    Nary a word about football being an Atheist production will be mentioned in the textbooks,

    While some aspects are secular (ie. not affiliated to any religion), atheism is a lack of belief in gods, and so is irrelevant to participation in sports.

    http://www.hornetfootball.org/documents/football-history.htm

    Six of the seven schools were largely playing the same game (including Eton, Harrow and Winchester) – while the seventh, Rugby School (founded in 1567) was playing a markedly different version of football.

    All these early English schools were linked to the church, although the Ancient Greeks predated them by rather a long time!

    Modern footballers, unlike the Greeks, do however, almost religiously, have prescribed matching socks and other kit!

  27. James M Constantino #38
    Apr 20, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Perhaps people in later times would write of us, ‘the americans worshipped football, and the pantheon of football heroes were enshrined in canton ohio in the football hall of fame’.

    Americans also worship Hollywood actors!
    Sometimes they even elect actors to act as state governors or presidents, when they can’t find any politicians of the right calibre! 🙂

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001654/
    Ronald Reagan is, arguably, the most successful actor in history, having catapulted from a career as a Warner Bros. contract player and television star, into serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild, the governorship of California (1967-1975), and lastly, two terms as President of the United States (1981-1989).

  28. Alan4discussion writes:

    “While some aspects are secular (ie. not affiliated to any religion), atheism is a lack of belief in gods, and so is irrelevant to participation in sports.”

    I’m not sure Prof. Dawkins would agree with you. For if you believe in a Supreme Higher Being, your Maker, but at the same time do not believe in karmic house spirits keeping your house pure, that would make you just as Atheist as someone who believes higher orders of being is a fallacy. The theological observation is that God speaks to you in your own internal voice, you can’t really tell God from yourself therefore, and so to my thinking, belief in God is compatible with belief in no God. You just really don’t know if God moves things through an agent who is a higher order of being than you are. My father, moving things on behalf of this supposed God, an agent of God, frequently helps me out with paying my rent. He is not really a higher order of being, he’s my dad. The supposed God answering my prayers, gets the rent paid. Faith is not rocket science or genetics, it is child’s play! As is solipsism, yet admitting at the same time that other beings exist, 2 contradictions being made compatible with a child’s version of Faith.

    Cheers!

    James

  29. James M Constantino #41
    Apr 20, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Alan4discussion writes:

    “While some aspects are secular (ie. not affiliated to any religion), atheism is a lack of belief in gods, and so is irrelevant to participation in sports.”

    I’m not sure Prof. Dawkins would agree with you.

    You could read some of his books and quickly find out!

    For if you believe in a Supreme Higher Being, your Maker, but at the same time do not believe in karmic house spirits keeping your house pure, that would make you just as Atheist

    It is well known on this site, that most theists are atheistic about all gods except their own. Atheists are just atheistic about one more than the rest!

    as someone who believes higher orders of being is a fallacy.

    Belief in “higher orders”, would be deism rather than theism, – at least until the big jump from deism back to “therefore Jesus and his dad” is produced to confirm a theist viewpoint.

    The theological observation is that God speaks to you in your own internal voice, you can’t really tell God from yourself therefore,

    I think that ability to tell the difference, is what separates atheists from theists, and atheists from the psychotic.

    and so to my thinking, belief in God is compatible with belief in no God.

    That comes back to the irrationality of accepting self-contradiction!

    You just really don’t know if God moves things through an agent who is a higher order of being than you are.

    Actually there is no evidence of gods doing anything in the material world, but there is plenty of evidence of god-delusions motivating followers to do many things including committing atrocities while posing as “higher authorities” to their mind-slaves!

  30. Alan4discussion writes:

    nothing about solipsism

    In an informal forum such as this one, a true psychotic feels free to air his fallacious thinking without fear of undue reprisal. I’m a true psychotic. It is valuable for me to engage in the banter here, to clear my mind, so to speak.

    So what about the part about solipsism, faith, and creation that I brought up?

    Just curious.

    James

  31. I wear toe-shoes, which require toe-sock.

    I don’t have to match them, but my options are a bit limited.

    For some reason, I have 3 more left socks than right.
    My solution is to turn one inside-out. I suppose that would work for sox with chirality.

  32. Alan4discussion writes:

    “I think that ability to tell the difference, is what separates atheists from theists, and atheists from the psychotic.”

    How callous and unthinking you are talking to a psychotic person, and saying that all theists are psychotic! I’ve been to many places, met many people, and in my experience the sheer arrogance and folly of the scientific community is not more apparent and glaring than right here.

    Glide Church in San Francisco gives me free meals. If I were to sit in judgement of a learned man who has been hit with a stroke, and some of the uneducated poor folk I see at the church, I would sentence the learned man to death in favor of saving the life of the babbling homeless man drooling and falling asleep over his supper. That’s just my opinion.

    Don’t let my damning words stop you learned people from your mental ‘exercises’, which pretty much amount to, ‘we’re sane and you’re not’.

    Cheers!

    James

    P.S. Schroedinger’s cat in the quantum box is a contradiction in science that you either accept or not accept. I see no real reason to discard contradictions in science. Real scientists of course, not sock puppets!

  33. Alan4discussion writes:

    “Actually there is no evidence of gods doing anything in the material world, but there is plenty of evidence of god-delusions motivating followers to do many things including committing atrocities while posing as “higher authorities” to their mind-slaves!”

    If we were to posit that some of us mortal human beings were gods, as in Joe DiMaggio hitting baseballs, he is a god of baseball, then there’s plenty of evidence for gods doing stuff in the material world. In the facebook game Castle Age, I have the reputation of being a god, because I’ve been there since the inception of the game, and I maneuvered the developers to accept the fact that EVERYBODY in the game uses my discovery of a 16% discount on in-game currency and that was not going to be taken away, perhaps for the life of the game going forward. That is why I am God in Castle Age. Because the developers of the game were under the delusion that I am God, my reputation as a player motivated them to act according to that delusion, EVERY player gets a 16% discount on refills. The developers are my mind-slaves. The question is, is that GOOD or is that EVIL? The fallacy of atheists is that it is automatically EVIL by its very nature as a delusion.

    Theists are less judgemental, less egotistical, less callous, less arrogant, less self-promoting, and are all around less EVIL. Not to mention that theists are MORE polite and generous.

    It’s very fortunate that the rule of the universe is that theists will ALWAYS outnumber by a factor of 100 the atheists of the world, as long as Mankind will exist. And you can quote me on that 1000 years from now.

    Cheers,

    James

  34. @James M Constantino

    The definition of a god is one who can break the laws of physics at will. Everything done by every god that has ever been posited involves the breaking of the laws of physics. Miracles. Creation. Answering prayers. Raising the dead. Diverting oceans. Causing floods and plagues. Your definition of a “God” doesn’t hold water. You are describing people who have used the laws of physics, Joe DiMaggio making application of Newton’s Laws and your discovery in an on line game a matter of intellect, which ultimately comes down to quantum mechanics. You are not a god. You are an inventor. To try and mount this as an argument draws a very long thin bow to breaking point.

    And as for this statement.

    Theists are less judgemental, less egotistical, less callous, less arrogant, less self-promoting, and are all around less EVIL. Not to mention that theists are MORE polite and generous.

    Rubbish. I’ll start with this research. Reported here.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11979235/Muslims-and-Christians-less-generous-than-atheists-study-finds.html

    To hold a belief in god, erroneously, that requires you to act will by definition, make you more judgemental. “You don’t believe in the one true god. My god. Thus you are a lesser person.” You have judged ever other theist, not of your brand. For shame.

    less egotistical, less callous, less arrogant, less self-promoting

    These human qualities have nothing to do with religion, but are just a statement of the bell curve of possible psychological profiles that have evolved.

    A belief that requires a believer to act, in the absence of supporting evidence, will cause that believer to say and do things, that are not supported by evidence. Like flying passenger aircraft into buildings. Going on crusades, pogroms, discrimination, exclusions, starting wars, being a terrorist, economic apartheid. This can only happen to a believer who’s belief requires action.

    An atheist has no belief. That is by definition the meaning of the word atheist. We don’t attack Non Stamp Collectors. We don’t dispute the ownership of land based on hand made, man written tribal superstitions. Atheism requires nothing of me. It gives me no orders or creed. I have to work out for myself what is good and what is evil. A theist has outsourced their thinking to a third party.

    Your self agrandizement with the online game story breaches a few of these.

    egotistical, less callous, less arrogant, less self-promoting

  35. James M; “Don’t let my damning words stop you learned people from your mental ‘exercises’”
    Could you explain this comment? Without being insulting and arrogant?

  36. “David R Allen: “These human qualities have nothing to do with religion, but are just a statement of the bell curve of possible psychological profiles that have evolved.”
    Brilliant!

    And THAT is why I gave up explaining to christians or republicans the facts. Their brain chemistry is different. The spectrum of brain function is obviously not narrow.

  37. the stephen fry video is blocked in my country.

    David R Allen writes:

    “To hold a belief in god, erroneously, that requires you to act will by definition, make you more judgemental. “You don’t believe in the one true god. My god. Thus you are a lesser person.” You have judged ever other theist, not of your brand. For shame.”

    Ok. I’ll give you that point. However, as the person of the receiving end of such judgement, aren’t we a little bit sensitive about being judged? The theist has no intention of harming you by judging you, and is in fact very gentle about it. On the other hand, if you viciously attack the theist for making a judgement on you it is like the tennis coach nailing his newbie student’s serve down the baseline, totally unfair. To the unsuspecting theist.

    alf1200 writes:

    “Could you explain this comment? Without being insulting and arrogant?”

    Very simple. Don’t let damning words stop you from doing what you think you are doing.

    David R Allen writes:

    “A theist has outsourced their thinking to a third party.”

    Again, why is that EVIL? Especially since, if you take my theory as even partially true, that third party is the cabal of ancient atheists who produced Christianity in the first place. The old saying is, don’t try to reinvent the wheel every time you drive your car to the grocery store. If the aim in producing a production is to get the masses to be more obedient, to live happier lives, and to learn to grow and change as a member of a cohesive society, then acting according to well-thought out moral principles codified into a religion is driving your car to the store without having to fret about inventing the wheel, without having to work out good and evil for yourself every time you act. When I said that theists aren’t as vulnerable to the foibles that an atheist is vulnerable, I meant it. Less aggrandizing. As a master planner, I am willing to go to any length of thought and action, moral culpability included, to achieve my goals. I am willing to kill my own children in the name of Empire, as Creon did in the Greek play, Antigone. As your everyday citizen of Rome, as a Christian, I don’t have to be morally culpable. I have outsourced that to a third party.

    Cheers,

    James

  38. James M Constantino #46
    Apr 20, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Alan4discussion writes:

    “Actually there is no evidence of gods doing anything in the material world, but there is plenty of evidence of god-delusions motivating followers to do many things including committing atrocities while posing as “higher authorities” to their mind-slaves!”

    If we were to posit that some of us mortal human beings were gods, as in Joe DiMaggio hitting baseballs,

    God-emperors, have been done many times before, but just like other theisms, the natural phenomena are hyped into the supernatural by deception, the sleight of hand of priests and political enforcement.

    The existence of worshippers is evidence of self delusion, not evidence of gods.

    Theists are less judgemental, less egotistical, less callous, less arrogant, less self-promoting, and are all around less EVIL.

    At least that is what their egotistical leaders encourage them to unthinkingly believe, despite masses of evidence to the contrary.

    and are all around less EVIL.

    In theisms “EVIL” is defined as “views and activities contrary to the dogmas of the cult”, so for example Hindu gangs killing people “evil people” rumoured to be eating beef, are “good and virtuous”!(allegedly) – according to THEIR definition of “evil” and “good”!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/11/hindu-cattle-patrols-in-india-seek-to-protect-cows-from-beef-eaters/

    A god delusion is the centre of its universe and a major feature of it, – at least in its own egotistical view and that of unthinking followers with their own indoctrinated copied versions imprinted in their brains.
    Scientific evidence shows that the Solar-System, the Earth, and humans, are an almost infinitesimal faction of space, and the matter of the universe, and they have only existed for a tiny fraction of cosmological and geological time.

    Not to mention that theists are MORE polite and generous.

    Again – according to uncritically accepted preaching glorifying particular sects.
    The understanding of “generosity” tends to mean “directing resources into spreading the religious meme. (A bit like popes sitting in palaces on golden thrones, preaching “help the poor”!)

    It’s very fortunate that the rule of the universe is that theists will ALWAYS outnumber by a factor of 100 the atheists of the world, as long as Mankind will exist.

    It is however a rule of the Earth that the majority of humans regard any particular religion as a mistaken view – but of course they think their personal one is THE correct ONE, despite all the contradictions between religions and sects of religions. The superstitious certainly out-number the rational, where primitive uneducated mankind exists.

    The evidence is that religion is in steep decline wherever education and rationality are established. – Such as in places where people understand the research based laws of the universe, rather than simply making up their own according to their cognitive biases and quaint myths.

    And you can quote me on that 1000 years from now.

    I doubt that the notions you are making up and asserting without evidence, will even last for your own lifetime!

  39. James M Constantino #45
    Apr 20, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    The theological observation
    is that God speaks to you in your own internal voice,
    you can’t really tell God from yourself therefore,

    Alan4discussion writes: -“I think that ability to tell the difference, is what separates atheists from theists, and atheists from the psychotic.”

    How callous and unthinking you are talking to a psychotic person,

    Emotional knee-jerk reactions, really are no substitute for reading and comprehension of what is actually written! I made a statement supported by evidence, about psychological conditions.

    and saying that all theists are psychotic!

    If you read what I wrote, you will see that I made two separate statements about theists and about the psychotic. Of course if you have evidence refuting numerous scientific studies of the psychotic condition of having voices in the head, or scientific recommendations for improvement in the anti-psychotic medications prescribed for those sufferers, please present them.
    Likewise if you have evidence that historical documents proclaiming various voices in the head or hallucinatory states, being promoted as religious revelations are not authentic, present those!

    http://www.sparknotes.com/biography/joanofarc/section2.rhtml

    when Joan was 13, she started hearing “voices.” The first of these voices spoke to her from her father’s garden, and was accompanied by a blinding white light. Joan claimed that the voices were angels and saints, through whom God was addressing her.

    I’ve been to many places, met many people, and in my experience the sheer arrogance and folly of the scientific community is not more apparent and glaring than right here.

    I’m afraid to ignorant, who fancifully make it up as they go along, all evidence based knowledge is “arrogant”.
    That is the nature of the psychological projection coming from those with fixed preconceived notions.

    The modern world runs on the functional technical services provided by modern science.
    Some people prefer to take decisions based on “faith” but these frequently feature in documents known as “accident investigation reports”!

    Don’t let my damning words stop you learned people from your mental ‘exercises’, which pretty much amount to, ‘we’re sane and you’re not’.

    Perhaps I should get out my white lab coat! 🙂

  40. Alan4discussion writes:

    “Perhaps I should get out my white lab coat! :-)”

    Perhaps you should! I’m afraid I’ve worn out my welcome here. It’s not easy being a psychotic person.

    Cheers!

    James

  41. James M Constantino #51
    Apr 21, 2016 at 4:38 am

    I don’t have to be morally culpable. I have outsourced that to a third party.

    What a convenient way of avoiding bothering to think about the consequences of actions and abdicating moral responsibility for personal decisions!

    If the aim in producing a production is to get the masses to be more obedient, to live happier lives,

    Religion! Obedient yes! Happier – hardly! – the most religious countries are the most impoverished, repressed, famine and strife-ridden places in the world!

    and to learn to grow and change as a member of a cohesive society, then acting according to well-thought out moral principles

    I thought the evidence was that these were the educated societies with good science based public services and secular legal systems.

    according to well-thought out moral principles codified into a religion

    Historically religions have been the basis for wars, persecutions, genocides, and superstitious ignorance obstructing remedies!

    is driving your car to the store without having to fret about inventing the wheel,

    That’s right – no need for thinking about inventing this modern sciency detailed stuff, – driving a car to the store on bronze age wooden ox cart wheels is just fine (for the uncritical non-thinker)!
    After all – a wheel is a wheel – Right!!!!

  42. James Constantino #54
    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:12 am

    “Perhaps I should get out my white lab coat!” 🙂

    Perhaps you should! I’m afraid I’ve worn out my welcome here. It’s not easy being a psychotic person.

    You are still welcome, but really should be working on presenting evidence and reasoned arguments, and addressing issues others have raised, if you wish to persuade rational thinkers, rather than simply asserting personal opinions which conflict with historical evidence.

    As I pointed out earlier, science debunks flawed claims and fallacious or unsupported arguments, – using huge quantities of carefully researched and confirmed information about the workings of nature.

  43. Alan4discussion writes:

    “You are still welcome, but really should be working on presenting evidence and reasoned arguments”

    Gee Professor, I didn’t know I was to be graded on my reasoned arguments! John Nash the mathematician was also schizophrenic, and he is my role model. Sadly, he was taken from us far too early, in a car crash, not oxcart. It frightens me because I looked up to him; he was a figure of hope for me, and my illness, pernicious as it is, deludes me into thinking that it is a personal message from God to me, when really it was just random circumstance. When I was not symptomatic, I was as atheist a person as there could be, so of course I come to atheists for some answers. Thanks for the patience you people have shown in at least reading what I have written.

    Cheers,

    James

  44. James M; “Don’t let my damning words stop you learned people from your mental ‘exercises’”

    Learned people? What does that mean? “Mental exercises”?
    That’s insulting and immature.

  45. If you’re Richard Dawkins you can wear socks that don’t match.
    Glenn Gould used to do that, but he was Glenn Gould.
    If you are a creepy loser like me, with no future and no notoriety and also butt-ugly,* than wearing different socks is not exactly going to increase your chances of “winning a wench,” as Nietzsche said.

    *Exaggerating. Self deprecating humor.

  46. Pairing my socks to dry them after they come out of the washer takes ages. I use a round plastic hanger with about 20 pegs and it is a job to do. Placing the damp socks on a chair and trying to sort and hang them quickly before the chair gets damp is something I put off. Not any more! Next wash day they will be hung as I pick them, regardless of colour or pattern and then onto my feet in whatever combination they like. For the first time I am looking forward to drying my socks….thank you!!

  47. No matter how careful I am (and I am very careful) I am always missing one sock after I do a load of laundry. That is almost enough to get me to become superstitious. I have to fight that.

    This topic is more interesting than one might think. Most people have a rather profound aversion to wearing socks that don’t match. Does that hearken back to the days of early man? Does it have something to do with our evolutionary past? “Woomanship [ugly word] to arouse the maternal instincts”? I don’t buy that. My hunch is that matching socks suggest a good partner-provider (care for the offspring). Un-matching socks suggest neediness and eccentricity, and lack of care. Stendhal (On Love) observed that something like that – (He used the example of a crooked tie. Same thing) – can easily affect a potential mate’s initial decision and unalterably. Moreover, the maternal instincts are geared primarily towards the well-being of the offspring, and only indirectly towards the father. Right?

    But this mania for symmetry and uniformity.—What is that about?

  48. J Constantino #46 says “Theists are less judgemental, less egotistical, less callous, less arrogant, less self-promoting, and are all around less EVIL. Not to mention that theists are MORE polite and generous.”
    can anyone else see the irony in that statmement?

  49. Irene Rz #62
    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:17 am

    “Theists are less judgemental, less egotistical, less callous, less arrogant, less self-promoting, and are all around less EVIL. Not to mention that theists are MORE polite and generous.”

    can anyone else see the irony in that statemement?

    Perhaps this link will help.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_delusion

    Religious delusion was found in 2009 to strongly correlate with “temporolimbic instability”.[8] This is a condition where irregularities in the brain’s limbic system may present as symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.[9]

    In a 2010 study, Swiss psychiatrists found religious delusions with themes of spiritual persecution by malevolent spirit-entities, control exerted over the person by spirit-entities, delusional experience of sin and guilt, or delusions of grandeur.[10]

    Religious delusions have generally been found to be less stressful than other types of delusion.[5] A study found adherents to new religious movements to have similar delusionary cognition, as rated by the Delusions Inventory, to a psychotic group, although the former reported feeling less distressed by their experiences than the latter.

  50. alf1200 writes:

    “Learned people? What does that mean? “Mental exercises”?
    That’s insulting and immature.”

    It means the educated, the learn’ed, should not be afraid that other people should condemn them for what they do. Mental exercises mean anything that taxes the brain cells. Brain NODES really, as that is where thoughts come from.

    In another article on this site it has been demonstrated that the ability to read thoughts and move muscles artificially is here. Muscle movement is a precursor to cognition, or cognitive thoughts. It is possible in the future we will develop telepathy, then send the signals back in time to someone’s brain. The receiver of this telepathy would not be able to tell this voice from his own thoughts; he might mistake the sending telepath for God, were the receiver to be a schizophrenic.

    I’m a very dapper 49 years old, young enough to be immature but old enough to be crotchety and insulting. The old have no time to waste waiting for the addled to get with the program!

  51. black sox! a tradition in your house, i presume? the tradition in my home is to always buy the same color, brand and size of socks for a given person, so if you lose one here or there, you will always have matching socks fresh out of the laundry.

    we’re lazy like that at our house!

  52. Greetings from a fellow Stephen Potter fan … not only does this confound the tyranny of entirely-groundless hosiery chirality, but also presents a splendid wrong-clothesmanship ploy. Why bother with cogent argument when one’s opponent can be discombobulated by a simple sartorial distraction?

    But there’s the danger of political metaphor. Are your political convictions perhaps wavering? Have you become an undecided voter? Are your underpants green?

  53. What a great feeling. I’m usually a fashion idiot, having no sense of what I’m supposed to be wearing. For once I’ve been ahead of the game, because for about 4 years I’ve just been buying huge bags of identical black socks and dumping them into a drawer unmatched, where every morning I just grab any two. I haven’t wasted a second matching socks for the four years. When one wears out, into the trash it goes, and when the drawer starts to get low, I dump another bag in. Granted, the black socks are insanely boring and the blue/red/green/yellow should be far more lovely, but so far I’ve had black because apparently the black socks match everything I wear and don’t collide with the simple black shoes I tend to wear (as white socks would), but I’m now feeling motivated to add more color to the mix.

  54. Chris Jones #72
    Jun 22, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    For once I’ve been ahead of the game, because for about 4 years I’ve just been buying huge bags of identical black socks and dumping them into a drawer unmatched, where every morning I just grab any two. I haven’t wasted a second matching socks for the four years.

    Just wait! You will be sabotaged with gift pairs of patterned socks for Father’s Day or a birthday! 🙂

  55. Also, wear socks inside out if they fall into your hands that way.
    The outside is much smoother against the skin.
    Usually, I’m pretty much the only person who sees my socks anyway

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