Saturday, December 24, 2011

no more reinforcing charities with bells.

the christmas season... isn't it special? beautiful lights, delicious treats, family, people supposedly being friendly to each other, presents and the miracle of Jesus.

and then there's the other part of christmas. those damn bells.

when did we as a nation decide to give money to the most annoying people on the planet? those bells are horrible. no one, ANYWHERE, likes prolonged bell ringing. bells are so super annoying that every bell tone ever is under 5 seconds. in churches bell programs are put on only at christmas. then the salvation army came along and decided it would be super rad to annoy people into giving them money.

i just googled the salvation army and the history of bells. some super nice guy decided to put a pot by the pier out in san francisco to help the poor because he saw it work in london. so sweet. somewhere along the line some other asshole (i'm hoping. my brain really wants to believe Captain Joseph McFee (certified badass?) is a good guy.) thought the best way to bring in even more money was to ring a bell to "get people's attention".

here's why i'm against giving money to the bell ringers; giving them money reinforces what they're doing, which makes them think what they're doing is good so they keep doing it. i want no part in encouraging bell ringing.

while we're on the subject of reinforcement, let's clear something up RIGHT NOW. listen close people, this is important. "negative reinforcement" is not a type of punishment. negative reinforcement is not the taking away of reinforcement. i'll say it again, NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT IS NOT A TYPE OF PUNISHMENT. negative reinforcement is the taking away of something negative, and the removal of the negative stimulus becomes reinforcing.

i think an example would help in this situation. example: you do an awesome job on your spelling test (because in this scenario you're 8) and your mother tells you that you don't have to do your chores this week. sweet, right? so the taking away of something NEGATIVE (chores) is reinforcing your awesome spelling skills, increasing the likelihood that you will become a spelling master. are we all clear? good, tell your friends.

so this holiday season, feel free to fire back the "merry christmas" you're likely to receive from a bell ringer with a lengthy explanation as to why your christmas isn't merry because they're ruining it will all of their annoying and unnecessary noise.

but don't forget to give to charities and people who AREN'T going out of their way to annoy you out of money. don't let the bell ringers get you down, it's still the season for giving!