FOUR LECTURES ON THE TWILIGHT OF THE INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY
The 'Twilight Lectures' is a series of four conferences summarizing an intellectually
wide-ranging account of one of the most important problems of contemporary industrial societies. These lectures are based on the book titled TEKNOLOJİK İŞ(LEV)SİZLİK (in English Technological Unemployment) authored by Kemal İnan , as well as a one-semester course titled TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY offered again by Kemal İnan during the Spring semesters of 2011 and 2012 at Sabancı University.
The main purpose of these lectures is to expose a fundamental flaw of the industrial society that reveals itself as the familiar unemployment problem of capitalism. Yet unlike the usual business cycles of capitalism that caused uneployment in the past, the present version of the problem is believed to be a structural one caused mainly by the evolution of knowledge and technology.
Just as some of the institutions of the agrarian societies became dysfunctional and disappeared in industrial societies we are on the verge of such a situation as we move towards a new phase of industrial society (automation society ?) where the educational institutes and the entire employment ethos of the industrial society are becoming dangerously dysfunctional. Yet predicting the outcome of this revolutionary situation seems to be beyond our visible horizon.
The form and the title of these lectures were inspired by the series of four operas named Der Ring des Nibelungen (or Ring in short) composed both literally and musically by Richard Wagner. The main theme of the Ring expose the greed and evils brought about by a cursed gold ring (representing wealth turned into power). The last opera of the Ring is titled Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods) where the heroine of the opera, Brünhilde drives her horse towards the burning palace of the gods, Valhalla, in the last scene of the opera. Hence the title of the series.
is presently an emeritus professor at Sabancı University. He was the founding dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences of the Sabancı University between 1998-2007. In the past he was a faculty member in the EE Dept.s of the Middle East Technical University (METU) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley. He held administrative posts of the chair person of EE Dept. of METU , member of Science Council of Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council (TÜBİTAK). Between 1983-85 he was both a founder and an active member of SODEP (Social Democratic Party) of Turkey. Kemal İnan received his BS, MS and PhD degrees respectively , all in electrical engineering, from METU and UC Berkeley during 1964-1970.