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Currents: An E-Journal Realism and a General Economy of the Link

by Adrian Miles 
InterMedia UiB and RMIT 

Currents in Electronic Literacy Spring 2001 (4), < 

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Bataille, rather dogmatically, states:

I will begin with a basic fact: The living organism, in a situation determined by the play of energy on the surface of the globe, ordinarily receives more energy than is necessary for maintaining life; the excess energy (wealth) can be used for the growth of a system (e.g., an organism); if the system can no longer grow, or if the excess cannot be completely absorbed in its growth, it must necessarily be lost without profit; it must be spent, willingly or not, gloriously or catastrophically. (21)

He has also argued that "it is not necessity but its contrary, "luxury," that presents living matter and mankind with their fundamental problems." (12, italics in original).

In relation to the link, and to link use and usability, there is always attached to the link a moment or element of risk and openness which is the excess that Bataille has described as "luxury". Luxury, of course, is defined by its excessive irrelevance to use.

Currents: An E-Journal