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Letters: Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’ has warning about technology

Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’ has warning about technology

The recent article concerning robots in the workplace brings to mind the Charlie Chaplin movie “Modern Times” from the 1930s. A quote by Chaplin, “Unemployment is the vital question – Machinery should benefit mankind. It should not spell tragedy and throw it out of work,” parallels the challenges brought forth by the computer’s ability to pretty much command dominance. Couple that with amazing technology in all areas of artificial needs – one can see the perplexing problem facing the workforce of the current century.

“The only two live spirits in a world of automatons. We are children with no sense of responsibility, whereas the rest of humanity is weighted down with duty. We are spiritually free,” another Chaplin quote, makes a sound argument that the movie “Modern Times” survives as a commentary on human survival in the industrial, economic and social circumstances in the 21st century.

But will humanity in future generations be entrusted with the second-fiddle stance, or will a day of reckoning follow. One can only guess.

Mark Neupert

Tonawanda

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