Weaponized for Addiction

In tech circles, the extreme addictiveness of electronic devices, apps, and programs is well known. That’s why technology leaders are the ones who most restrict screen time by their own children. They know that the addictiveness is irresistible, and that the addiction will ruin their children’s real life development. Here are some examples*:Weaponized for Addiction

  • “[Steve Jobs] kept the iPad from his kids because, for all the advantages that made them unlikely substance addicts, he knew they were susceptible to the iPad’s charms.
  • “Evan Williams, a founder of Blogger, Twitter, and Medium, bought hundreds of books for his two young sons, but refused to give them an iPad.
  • “Lesley Gold, the founder of an analytics company, imposed a strict no-screen-time-during-the-week rule on her kids.
  • “Chris Anderson, the former editor of WIRED, enforced strict time limits on every device in his home, ‘because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand.’ His five children were never allowed to use screens in their bedrooms.”

“These entrepreneurs recognize that the tools they promote—engineered to be irresistible—will ensnare users indiscriminately.”

The brightest minds in technology today are not helping people deal with technology better—quite the opposite—they are doing everything they can to make the screen takeover your life, to pull you into irresistible addiction: “According to Tristan Harris, a ‘design ethicist,’ the problem isn’t that people lack willpower; it’s that ‘there are a thousand people on the other side of the screen whose job it is to break down the self-regulation you have.’”

The intended addictiveness is so effective, experts refer to it as being “weaponized” for addiction: “The people who create and refine tech, games, and interactive experiences are very good at what they do. They run thousands of tests with millions of users to learn which tweaks work and which ones don’t—which background colors, fonts, and audio tones maximize engagement and minimize frustration. As an experience evolves, it becomes an irresistible, weaponized version of the experience it once was.”

Addictive behaviors have become so common they are now mainstream. “These new addictions don’t involve the ingestion of a substance … but they produce the same effects because they’re compelling and well designed … they’ve all become progressively more difficult to resist.” Almost everyone you meet is losing a large part of their life to a screen-related addiction.

People will suffer more brain reshaping than the previous fifty years of TV and video reshaping: “Social media has completely shaped the brains of the younger people I work with … the result is a landscape filled with disconnection and addiction.”

As three-hundred million Americans deteriorate into passive addiction, hope for future generations dissolves to zero.
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*Source quotes:
“Tech Bigwigs Know How Addictive Their Products Are. Why Don’t the Rest of Us?”, from Irresistible by Adam Alter.
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For references, citations, and extensive development of these topics, get your own copy of THE BOOK Call of the Active Mind.
©copyright Robert Rose-Coutré 2016

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One-Year-Anniversary

Happy AnniversaryThe book Call of the Active Mind was published February 16, 2016. This month is the Book’s 1st Anniversary—One Year of helping people understand how watching TV and video debilitates the mind, heart, and body; and drains the life out of us. Removing TV/video from daily life makes all the difference. “It’s not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you were the day before.”
– Unknown

Below are links to earlier posts, which are mostly sections from the book. Continue reading

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Summary Dissolution

The number of hours of TV watched throughout life is the number of hours of development lost. Everything that should make us human is lost:

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Blueprint of Society

Here is a checklist of characteristics typical of people who watch too much television and other passive video. Twenty hours a week is too much (the average American watches 35 to 40 hours a week):

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Missed Opportunities

Some people think that motivational advice is for younger people, to make something of their lives, but not for older people. I say if you have a passion and a potential that you have not pursued, then it’s time to chase it now, at any age.Missed Opportunities

This has nothing to do with an obligation to do something that you really don’t want to do. This is about a drive and a desire that you have suppressed due to laziness, or external pressure or embarrassment. Breaking free of obstacles that stop you from maximizing potential is an important life decision. Failing in this decision is the most pure and true form of failure in life. Continue reading

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Perfectionists

Perfectionists are builders who take building to the highest level. They try harder with extraordinary determination to excel. Every excellence is merely a new starting point upon which to improve.

Rose-CoutréPerfectionists have a heightened sense of order and exactitude from the biggest big picture to the tiniest tiny detail. Continue reading

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Patrick Brontë: Man of Sorrow

Book Review
Title: A Man of Sorrow: The Life, Letters and Times of the Rev. Patrick Brontë 1777–1861, 566 pages
Authors: John Lock and Canon W. T. Dixon
Publisher: Ian Hodgkins & Co. LTD, London (1979)
ISBN-13: 978-0906460047

Patrick Brontë

Patrick Brontë was born in Ireland in 1777 and educated at Cambridge where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1806. Later he married Mary Branwell, and had six children. Three of their children became the famous Victorian Authors Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre), Anne Brontë (Tenant of Wildfell Hall), and Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights). Continue reading

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Ruination of Humanity

Rose-CoutréBrains need exercise. Without exercise, the brain decreases in functionality. TV marks the first time in history that people sat for hours with the brain in a semi-sleep, passive state while technically awake (leaves the brain more suggestible to accept what it sees more easily).

In this dormant state, the brain atrophies while media-determined “reality” is fed into the brain. Brain function deteriorates more as more passive screen entertainment surrounds people, with TVs in every room, videos on laptops and tablets, and smart phones that go with you everywhere. We are reduced to almost zero development as human beings. Continue reading

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Boredom and the Cure

Boredom means the absence of an internal trigger that self-generates interesting occupation. Boredom is an unnatural state of mind that is a relatively new condition for adults—and it is an especially new and unnatural condition for children.TV Boredom and the Cure The atrophy and loss of that trigger happens from watching TV and other passive video time.

TV makes brains become dependent on external stimulus, to “receive” entertainment. Shut off the video, you leave a vacuum of boredom. Without spoon-fed entertainment, a passive brain gets bored, and seeks the easiest possible way to “be rescued” from boredom. Continue reading

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Deadly TV

In addition to destroying your mental and emotional development, TV destroys your physical health. “There’s no shortage of research showing links between watching too much television and early death.”Consequences Continue reading

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The Demoralizing Workplace

Reduction in quality and productivity spread in the workplace as millions of minds began disengaging in the mid-twentieth century. It started happening when TV entered American life. TV reduces brain function, intelligence and creativity, lowers job performance, shuts down empathy towards others and caring in general, increases crime, disease, depression, boredom, complaining, aggression, and incompetence.1Self Mocking Continue reading

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Passive TV Can Harm Your Baby’s Speech

Passive TV can harm your baby's speech“‘Passive’ TV can harm your baby’s speech making it harder for them to later cope in school”

From the Article:

“Children are as vulnerable to the effects of ‘passive TV’ as they are to secondhand smoking, according to experts.” Continue reading

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Toddler Intelligence and TV

Quotes from the Article “Watching TV ‘makes toddlers less intelligent’”:

“The study found that for every extra hour of TV a week the two-year-olds watched there was a 6 percent decrease in maths achievement…, a 7 percent decrease in classroom engagement, and a 10 percent increase in “victimisation” by peers, such as teasing, rejection and assault. Each extra hour also corresponded with 9 percent less exercise, consumption of 10 percent more snacks, and a 5 percent rise in body mass index. Continue reading

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TV Damages Brain Structure

TV Damages Brain StructureChildren who watch too much TV may have ‘damaged brain structures’—according to a study that “looked at 276 children aged between five and eighteen, who watched between zero and four hours TV per day.” Continue reading

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A Brain Asleep

Reading and talking ignite the brain cells so they can process information, but watching TV or video does the opposite.A Brain Asleep Continue reading

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TV Makes You Miserable and then Kills You

TV reduces brain function, intelligence and creativity, lowers job performance, lowers grades, shuts down empathy towards others, reduces lifespan, causes unemployment and emotional immaturity, increases crime, disease, depression, boredom, complaining, aggression, and incompetence.Self Mocking

TV makes you miserable and then kills you. TV destroys society. Continue reading

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Spiritual Life

SaintMany people say there is no spiritual reality. This is the common fallacy of “I can’t see it so it must not be there.” People who exert their energy to deny spirituality will never have a spiritual life. People who have a positive attitude and an open mind, find spiritual experience with God, find connections and purpose from spiritual life. Continue reading

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Developmental Death Sentence

The Talk:
We say we “care about the kids” with platitudes about helping their mental health and self esteem.
The Walk:
We sabotage their future by letting them watch over 20,000 hours of TV by the time they are adults, or closer to 40,000 on average counting passive video time on all devices.

We are good at talking the talk, but we do not walk the talk. Continue reading

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Educational Bureaucracy Gets an F

Educational Bureaucracy Gets an FA news item delivered with my morning paper this morning seemed relevant to a quote from my book Call of the Active Mind.

The Quote
“Because people’s minds are increasingly passive and simple, people in the education system try to find new and better substitutes for thinking. Sophisticated-sounding-but-ineffectual pedagogical methodologies are bureaucratically blessed by the various education-system bureaucracies. None of them know what they’re talking about. Continue reading

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Individuality Is Dead

Social activity and mental activity differentiate people. Isolated passive people are not becoming more individualized. In their video-isolation, they are stagnating, becoming more the same.

Children losing individuality as they watch

  • TV forces shallowness on you.
  • Shallowness breeds sameness.
  • TV forces passivity on you.
  • Passivity breeds sameness.

Continue reading

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To New Parents

To New Parents:

Find out the proven ways to spark creativity in your child, proven ways to develop stronger minds, and proven ways to instill a lifestyle of learning. Continue reading

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Epilog of a Species

Epilog of CultureSince the age of TV and video, a litany of studies show that they cause lower-functioning brains, lower-caliber people. Criminal behaviors, deterioration of empathy, erratic violence, depression, loss of creativity, loss of problem solving, self-obsession, empty stress, and susceptibility to manipulation, are caused by a lot of TV. Continue reading

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Boosting Your Brain

A few selections from “23 Ways to Boost Your Brain”:

Bored Student“1. Take a French class. Learning a second language can help your brain process information better and help you focus more sharply so you avoid distraction. It may even delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in some people, according to exciting new research from Singapore Management University. One easy way to parlez Francais (or any new language) is with an app. With Duolingo, Apple’s iPhone App of the Year in 2013, you can learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Swedish and several other languages. Continue reading

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TV Has Special Ways of Being Bad for You

TV Has Special Ways of Being Bad for YouTV’s ways of being bad for you are unlike any other. Here are a more ways from the article “Why is watching TV so bad for you?”:

“There’s no shortage of research showing links between watching too much television and early death.

  • “Every hour of television you watch reduces your life expectancy by close to 22 minutes.
  • “But it isn’t terrible scripts, bad acting or excruciating reality TV programs that are shaving years off our lives; it’s what we do, or rather don’t do, when we’re zoning out in front of the box.
  • “The researchers found people who watched more than three hours of television a day had double the risk of premature death when compared to those who watched less than one hour per day. But when they looked at other sedentary behaviours – driving a car and using a computer – they didn’t find the same links with early death.”


Claudine Ryan “Why is watching TV so bad for you?” ABC Health and Wellbeing. 7/24/2014.

Read more from my book Call of the Active Mind
©Copyright Robert Rose-Coutré 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016

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An ‘A’ for Everyone

Bored StudentStudents are being fooled into thinking they are exceptional by the sharp increase in A’s being handed out in schools, K-12, public or private, and in Ivy League and State Colleges. It didn’t start in the 2000s, or the 1990s. The first sharp increase in handing out A’s happened from the late 1960s to the early 1970s—exactly when the first generation of kids who grew up with TV entered the educational system. (This is just one of dozens of similar TV-effects that hit at that same time, for the same reason, which are validated in Call of the Active Mind). It was the first generation that was ‘made stupid’ by too much TV. Continue reading

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