This chapter reviews semantics and syntactics in relation to preexisting theories relevant to information retrieval, the labor theoretic approach, and existing and emerging real-world practices. Real-world systems are both constrained and enabled not only by considerations associated with human labor—such as costs, the ability of human semantic labor directly to address the level of meaning, and the possible transfer of syntactic labor to technology—but also by inherited modes of production of meaning from written language as well as the nature of the computational process. The chapter indicates a potential synthesis between Internet cultures and library and information science and concludes by reaffirming the value of selection power, along with the merging possibilities for enhanced selection.
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