Profession and Purpose
His profession includes packaging highly technical data into accessible English for nonspecialists. His training is in analyzing and processing complex data, packaging advanced concepts into clear accessible points, logical argumentation, and polished composition.
About the Book
The aim of this book is to bring the quality of a “good read” to the topic of TV’s damage and choosing more active forms of entertainment. The abundant scientific studies and expert opinions provide a foundation of referenced works, cited throughout the book.
Studies prove and experts overwhelmingly agree that TV does serious damage to us as individuals and as a society. The book cites many of these sources. It is safe to say there is nothing controversial about the effects of TV in the book, and nothing that experts who have conducted the studies would disagree with.
Uncontroversial does not mean unimportant. That is the sad point, that such a book is still needed. People “kind of know how bad TV is” but need to be reminded as often as possible, because TV’s attraction is so strong and pervasive. Despite its well-known harmful effects, TV marches on unabated.
Other books and studies by experts on TV’s effects tend to be dry and clinical. As a result, Rose-Coutré has packaged the alarming data in a less formal appeal to people’s common sense. The book illustrates the consequences of too much screen time, and makes the case that people should spend more time in the real world. The hope is to change a few people’s habits from passive to active. If Call of the Active Mind helps elevate the caliber of experience for anyone, it will be well worth the trouble.
About the Author
Having said that, I am grateful that I had a TV growing up, so I could better understand its influence and effects. I am also grateful that my viewing time was limited, so it didn’t do too much damage. I thank my parents for those strict limits. Because of that limitation, I had time for a lot of activities that left me with precious non-TV memories. Here is an excerpt from Call of the Active Mind’s “About the Author” section:
“In this author’s childhood, TV was allowed but limited. I lost some of my childhood time to passive TV viewing, but only a fraction of today’s average. With my extra 20,000 plus hours as a child and adolescent, I did a lot that developed my mind, heart, and body that is missing from the lives of most children and adults today. Here are some examples of those childhood activities:
“I read every volume of my family’s set of encyclopedias, along with other science books, history, and fiction that my family had on the shelf; played long hours of football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, and golf; sold newspapers at a shopping center at age 9 and had many jobs growing up; did yardwork and household chores most every day, always on Saturday; learned household maintenance like fixing or replacing faucets, roofing a house, dry walling, painting a house inside and out, welding, metalworking, woodworking; rode my bicycle everywhere many miles a day including to and from school and jobs (parents didn’t drive me); became a competitive speed skater at the local roller-skating rink at age 10; got in fights with kids in the neighborhood; started a daily exercise regimen at age 13 (and kept it up ever since); learned how to play the organ from my grandmother; took guitar lessons; won or placed in small local tournaments in chess, billiards, and ping-pong, and played those games whenever I could find an opponent; learned sailing, motorboating, rowing, canoeing, and water-skiing; learned martial arts, juggling, knife-throwing, shooting, archery, and horseback riding; learned endurance swimming and lifesaving and became a lifeguard at age 16; camped on weekends once a month and learned skills in camping, wilderness survival, and many other outdoors skills; worked my way through the ranks of scouting and earned Eagle Scout; participated in community service projects through scouting and my church; and enjoyed almost all of my recreation time with friends, doing things in the real world with real people, growing and learning how to be a human, an old-school human, fully human.”
In my 50+ years, I’ve kept up the same active living, doing, achieving, and living life to the fullest. It doesn’t matter exactly what I was doing, except that it was NOT passive watching—it was active doing. That’s the most important difference that I hope to communicate with my book, and with my life.
Robert Rose-Coutré has a Master of Arts (MA) in English Language and Literature/Letters with emphasis in the philosophy of language.