Funny Coincidence in Vinge’s True Names

Re-reading Vernor Vinge’s sci-fi novella True Names, written in 1980, I just came across an amusingly prescient passage. (Edited here for brevity.) The time is a few decades in the future, from 1980’s point of view. A member of a group of superhackers is trying to convince another member that some of the others have been trying to leverage their computer skillz to take power in the real world:

“You know what convinced Wiley that the Mailman could deliver on his promises? It was the revolution in Venezuela. It was to be the Mailman’s first demonstration that that controlling data and information services could be used to take permanent control of a state. And Venezuela, they claimed, was perfect: Its data-processing facilities are all just a bit obsolete, since they were bought when the country was at the peak of its boom time.”

First an oil boom in Venezuela, then revolution. Think about it, maaaaaaaaan. It all makes sense!

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