Escaping the Real and the return to the Real are the yin and yang of contemporary culture: inhale and exhale; high tide and low tide. The immaterial, weightless, digital force wins over the physical, touchable, analogue one. But not for long. After a while, the Real returns bigger and stronger. It rides on a wave of nostalgia, sometimes serving as an ominous reminder. CDs are replaced by MP3 files, which soon give way to streaming services. And that’s when vinyl records regain their popularity: specialized music shops appear one after another; albums are released as collector’s editions.
Still, the return of the Real is not always so benevolent. Sometimes rejected physicality hits us in ways that are either tragic or disappointing. For example, when reading about work conditions in Asian factories, we’d much rather forget they exist. Or when a gorgeous estate we loved in the photos turns out to be an aesthetic nightmare, wheezing under its enormous weight.
The story of bitcoin fever is yet another case of escape and return. What makes it even more interesting is the backdrop of history, going thousands of