Brainwashed

People do weird things. Often these are due to the operant conditioning or classical conditioning inflicted on them. Its funny I’ve been seeing references lately to these to describe….

  • Email – Like Skinner’s pigeons, we hit the button to check for new messages hoping to get something. The intermittent reinforcement of not getting a new message with every click just helps strengthen the behavior.
  • Twitter – Similar to email, click the button and hope for something good.
Are we our habits? Or are we something more?

Waste Not

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of forwarded or group invites for kinds of things about not buying gas for a day, not buying gas from the two largest oil companies, or even everyone not using electricity for an hour (One Hour NO Power). These are ambitious endeavors for problems I agree are present.

My power consumption is fairly conservative, I think. Everything is electric rather than gas. My are turned off computers every night. The shredder, coffee maker, cell chargers, computer speakers, scanner, two printers, and external hard drive all remain turned off unless I need them. I wash clothes in decent size loads. I avoid running heat, air conditioning, or long showers. Admittedly, some devices remain on all time which bother me: TiVo, DVD player, range clock, cordless phone charger, and microwave. I can be better about the DVD player and maybe microwave.

My gasoline consumption is defintitely high. I don’t carpool, but I do live close to work. If I’d picked a better location and were in better shape I might could ride a bike to work. Downtown isn’t anywhere near walking distance. Nor are those state parks and historical landmarks.

Chain letters are worthless. People rarely get so excited that they think All my friends and even strangers must absolutely hear about this! Instead, its a few who continue it on. Chain letters are a numbers game. You have to hit a large number of people who are going to ignore it in hopes of reaching a few who will pass it along. You have hit a massive amount of people for any of these initiatives to work. Maybe I’m wrong about this means of communication? Anyone have numbers on how many people you can reach using chainletter emails? I’m thnking they are a massive waste of electricity.