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My answer with 2 days old and over 200 up votes, pretty well structured and also funny* was deleted by a mod, without any appropriate reason.

Why did it take 2 days and 200+ up votes to remove my answer?

* Was the fun the reason?


Answer at the time deleted.

As a sock lover it's difficult to compare socks, Is a red sock greater or equals than a green sock? or Is a sock with fingertips lower than a sock without them?

I offer a set of solutions:

The mom's algorithm O(1):

  1. Get the socks
  2. Ask mom to pair them

The lazy algorithm O(n):

  1. Keep in a bucket all the socks
  2. And every time you need a sock just pick one O(1)
  3. Find the other one at most O(n)

The Bucket algorithm:

  1. Enumerate each pair of sock with a number (from 1 to n)
  2. Make a slot for each pair of socks with a number; Space: O(n)
  3. Put each sock in the corresponding slot; Time O(1)

Naive approach:

  1. Pick a sock; Time: O(1)
  2. Pick another sock; O(1)
  3. If the two socks matches pair them put it a different basket
  4. If not keep those socks in a little fast table for further requests.

"Deal with it" algorithm:

  1. Pick one sock
  2. Pick another sock
  3. Deal with it!

Protip

  1. Once you have remove your socks try to pair them, with a rubber band. (maybe socks with velcro)
  2. So when you have to wash the socks it will wash and dry in pairs.
  3. After pair them, remove the rubber band.

Note: If the weather is warm enough you could avoid the use of socks by wearing sandals.

Update: I'm also curious what kind of algorithm uses Dr. Sheldon Cooper to pair socks.


Last edit

As a sock lover it's difficult to compare socks, Is a red sock greater or equals than a green sock? or Is a sock with fingertips lower than a sock without them?

I offer a set of solutions:

The mom's algorithm O(1):

  1. Get the socks
  2. Ask mom to pair them

Clarification: Yes, this is (obviously) a distributed approach, you can add workers (in this case moms) and you can get the job done faster. And as a matter of fact, the truth is that my mother always use this algorithm on me.

The lazy algorithm O(n):

  1. Keep in a bucket all the socks
  2. And every time you need a sock just pick one O(1)
  3. Find the other one at most O(n)

Clarification: For all pairs of socks the time complexity is O(n^2), but from the human perspective (avoid all the work until is absolute necessary) this approach has more appeal.

The Bucket algorithm:

  1. Enumerate each pair of sock with a number (from 1 to n)
  2. Make a slot for each pair of socks with a number; Space: O(n)
  3. Put each sock in the corresponding slot; Time O(1)

Clarification: Yeah, this is a classical bucket sort. The time complexity is better if the number of socks groups is relative small, compared to all the pair of socks.

Naive approach:

  1. Pick a sock; Time: O(1)
  2. Pick another sock; O(1)
  3. If the two socks matches pair them put it a different basket
  4. If not keep those socks in a little fast table for further requests.

"Deal with it" algorithm:

  1. Pick one sock
  2. Pick another sock
  3. Deal with it!

Clarification: This solution actually works and it's the most efficient if all the socks are equal. It also works if you are not very exigent.

Protip

  1. Once you have remove your socks try to pair them, with a rubber band. (maybe socks with velcro)
  2. So when you have to wash the socks it will wash and dry in pairs.
  3. After pair them, remove the rubber band.

Clarification: The trick here is why separate the socks in the first place? (yeah that is a rhetorical question) if you can always maintain the pairs together.

Note: If the weather is warm enough you could avoid the use of socks by wearing sandals.

Clarification: Another valid solution is to avoid using socks in the first place.


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6  
If your answer was just a joke, it was probably better for the Reddit thread and not SO –  simchona Jan 22 '13 at 6:52
    
I'm not entirely clear on the history of that question (nor can I see your deleted answer <10k) but I think this received quite a lot of external attention (hence the extreme popularity) and a number of non-serious answers. Perhaps that contributed? –  Bart Jan 22 '13 at 6:52
5  
@Bart That answer is actually many answers in one - some jokes, some serious. But none are explained in detail. –  Mysticial Jan 22 '13 at 6:54
2  
@Mysticial Well, there you go then. Then the OP should focus the answer, remove the stuff that doesn't need to be there, and flag for attention once done. –  Bart Jan 22 '13 at 6:55
    
@Bart already done that part (refactor the answer) in the last edit. –  razpeitia Jan 22 '13 at 6:58
6  
Looking at that answer, by all means put some fun in your answer, but don't hide your answer within the fun. –  Bart Jan 22 '13 at 6:59
    
@Bart, I think I have already done that. Add some detail in each algorithm / approach, remove all the links in the post and remove the reference to TBBT. And besides of that why it took so long to my question to be deleted? –  razpeitia Jan 22 '13 at 7:17
    
I would not be surprised if it was part of a mass cleanup. –  Bart Jan 22 '13 at 7:33
5  
Maybe we need socks.stackexchange.com. –  Frédéric Hamidi Jan 22 '13 at 7:36
6  
@fred Never going to happen. How would that remain constructive? What's more fiercely debated than socks? –  Bart Jan 22 '13 at 7:45
    
The question has already been closed and reopened 4 times. It (and the answers) probably need some additional moderation care. And the original answer really isn't that good (just funny). –  Bo Persson Jan 22 '13 at 8:30
2  
Nothing @bart. Many, many people debate socks :-). –  ben is uǝq backwards Jan 22 '13 at 9:01

1 Answer 1

Mods don't usually delete answers just for the fun of it; they respond to moderator flags.

I remember in the Proper use cases for Android UserManager.UserIsAGoat question, a number of answers got deleted because they received enough moderator flags.

The moderator in question could have deleted it on their own, but I suspect it had a number of moderator flags against it.

See also this answer to a related question:

Answers can be deleted by mods for all sorts of reasons - but not very often. We don't have the time to go through looking for stuff to delete so only those posts brought to our attention will be considered.

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