Monday, May 16, 2011

TW3 - Life is a Skinner's Box

B.F.Skinner invented the Skinner box which is an operant conditioning chamber. An operant conditioning chamber permits experimenters to study behavior conditioning (training) by teaching a subject animal to perform certain actions (like pressing a lever) in response to specific stimuli, like a light or sound signal. When the subject correctly performs the behavior, the chamber mechanism delivers food or another reward. In some cases, the mechanism delivers a punishment for incorrect or missing responses. With this apparatus, experimenters perform studies in conditioning and training through reward/punishment mechanisms.

I have decided that life is a malfunctioning Skinner box. When an operant conditioning chamber malfunctions and the reward and punishment are scrambled for a specific behavior the test subject just goes to a corner and shivers. I am there folks. I am trying to keep my eye on the prize as it were but I am unsure if I will get shocked if I dare reach for it.

I am desperately trying for a prudent reserve and a workable budget but shocks like oral surgery, washing my cellphone, a malfunctioning vehicle, and now a HUD inspection that demands I pay for apartment screens two months before they were a budget item seem like punishments for living a responsible and economic life.

The art season looms and an extra $500 bucks right now would be quickly spent on frame supplies, prints, etc. if the van was not already sitting in line first. Cannot make money if you cannot get there. Anyone want to buy a painting? After thinking through and developing 3-4 creative possible solutions for my problems I am now just sitting in the corner and staring out into space. I am clearly too old to barter my sexual favors on the street corner. Besides no street corners in my neighborhood. No van to get me to another neighborhood.

I never functioned well married (another operant conditioning chamber in my opinion) because it was too much like having bossy parents or being in grade school. But right now it would be nice to have someone to bounce my problems off and let them come up with a way out. My ex, Marc, used to serve that function (definitely worked better when I was not in his box) but, alas, he is not around anymore. And the tooth fairy has not made an appearance, or Cinderella's Fairy godmother. I keep hoping for a Hollywood musical ending just any time now.

Cue the chorus.

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