January 13, 2011

"Do you want to reload this page?"

Aha! It's the computers that are fomenting violence in America! We always suspected the machines would find a way to destroy us, and suddenly I see their insidious mechanism. Don't retreat... reload!... this page.
We ... have shut ourselves in: machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men...

Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate - only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural...

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let's use that power....
Do you know the source of that warning about the machines? It's this.

ADDED: Here's a plot summary of the movie I'm quoting from. The character you see there does not represent Hitler. I'm only now realizing that I shouldn't assume everyone knows the movie.

20 comments:

Scott M said...

Not just violence, but racist. If you have more than one hard-drive, you have to select a master and the rest are slaves. I remember a movement a few years back to get all of that terminology changed, undoubtedly by someone with far, far too much time on their hands. Geeks everywhere couldn't be bothered.

shoutingthomas said...

I knew that it was Chaplin, but I guessed Modern Times.

Slightly off.

Chaplin was a great composer, too. He wrote a lot of his own scores, most notably to my favorite romantic movie of all time, City Lights.

Charlie could wring tears out of stone.

edutcher said...

It's not the computers, it's us programmers. We program the machines and they program you.

Call us geeks, will you?

Call us nerds, will you?

Laugh at us when we ask you out for a date, will you? (and then go out with that smooth-talking garden designer...)

You'll see.

You'll all see.

We WILL have our revenge.

Bwahahaha.

Sixty Grit said...

He was just John Lennon ahead of his time - do away with nations, do away with greed - good luck with that, Charlie.

phx said...

Come with me if you want to live.

c3 said...

One related note:

An excellent video commentary regarding reaction to this and other shootings

shoutingthomas said...

He was just John Lennon ahead of his time - do away with nations, do away with greed - good luck with that, Charlie.

Not really.

First, Chaplin was born in an era in which the failure of communism and Utopianism was not established.

Second, Chaplin was one of the two greatest artists of the 20th century, with Louis Armstrong his closest competition.

Scott M said...

Second, Chaplin was one of the two greatest artists of the 20th century, with Louis Armstrong his closest competition.

Somewhere James Cameron's head is exploding, followed by George Clooney as his closest competition.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

He has a mind of metal and wheels; and he does not care for growing things...

The Crack Emcee said...

Oh, come on, how can you make Chaplin's comments real with the French around?

Lucien said...

Enough, already. (But be careful printing out the page after reloading in, because your printer uses a cartridge.)

Despite the constant cries for increased civility in civil litigation I filed a motion to strike the other day, and no one complained.

JayC said...

The problem with "The Great Dictator" was it's timing. It was made between Sept 1939 and March of 1940.

Chaplin portrayed Hitler as a fool and a bumbler, who couldn't do anything right.

Then, in May and June of 1940, the Germans overran France, and suddenly it wasn't so funny any more.

BJM said...

OT, but one of my fav bits of geekiness.

Paul Brinkley said...

If you reference a Hitler portrayal before he became the Hitler everyone knows, is Godwin really in effect?

Fen said...

There is a point - the more humans interact with machines, the more they treat other people as machines. Sub-human.

edutcher said...

Paul Brinkley said...

If you reference a Hitler portrayal before he became the Hitler everyone knows, is Godwin really in effect?

Depends on how reasonable your audience is.

If the only analogy you can summon to something contemporary is Hitlerian, doesn't constitute casting aspersions, and it's valid, is Godwin in effect there, too?

Ann Althouse said...

"If you reference a Hitler portrayal before he became the Hitler everyone knows, is Godwin really in effect?"

Have you never seen the movie? There are 2 lookalike characters (both played by Chaplin). One is the Hitler character (Hinkel) and the other is Jewish (and a good guy). Spoiler alert. The speech in the end is given by the good guy while he is being mistaken for Hinkel.

Ann Althouse said...

I thought everyone understood that movie reference!

Paul Brinkley said...

Wow. You make one joke building on Godwin and suddenly everyone's taking you all seriously and stuff.

And then I get implied accusation that I didn't see the movie. (Which I didn't... but now's not the time to dwell on that!)

Now I'm so mad, I'm gonna reload this page.

jr565 said...

When was this mythical time in our lives when greed and machinery didn't make us into war mongers?
The implication is that we became this way, but started out as somthing else. Yet if you go back in time so long as there's been human beings, we've fought one another.