Jun 12, 2023
Rudy joins Victor Petrov, author of Balkan Cyberia: Cold War Computing, Bulgarian Modernization, and the Information Age behind the Iron Curtain for a discussion on The People's Republic of Bulgaria and its computing industry and offshoots. They discuss the history of socialism in Bulgaria, how it changed the country's productive basis from an agricultural nation to one that could produce an all-Bulgarian satellite in 1981 and be a worldwide leader of computing. We talk about how the computing industry took advantage of Comecon and of intelligence services to grow, how Bulgaria related to other countries like Japan and India, Bulgarian modernization and the cultural space the computing industry took including sci-fi and the Bulgarian laws of robotics. We end by talking about how reformers tried to use computers to reform socialism, and industry professionals took a role in the fall of socialism in Bulgaria.