I'll step out of the shadows for a moment to try to help people with the badges issue, which I also experienced for a few days recently.
After clicking on the "new Badge(s) has/have been earned" notification, you'll be linked to your Badges page, where a dialog will appear in the upper left corner, partially hidding your avatar. There will be as new messages on that dialog box as new badges notifications, and the only thing you need to do to stop getting notifications (it worked for me, at least) is clicking on the 'x' for each one of those messages. Simple, but effective.
I don't know if this will solve everyone's problems with badges, but I post it here in case it's useful to someone.
I have periods of social disconnection, it's a part of me that I need and keenly embrace. I'll still log in and read news and threads during those times, but I won't be (very) active on the site, so I apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause (late answers, bumps or the like).
Please, feel free to correct my English.