But why insist on such a subtle distinction? As I said earlier, the various moments which comprise the act of reading require various disciplines to fully determine the [most efficient] function of a text. But I think there's an even more important payoff. Think of Biblical hermeneuticists, who devote time and energy into interpreting a text because they believe what God intends for humanity is encoded into this collection of words. By thinking in terms of semiosis rather than inherent meaning, they are forced to acknowledge that this decoding will always be ongoing. At least until people unplug the computer, or stop reading the Bible.
Consider what Umberto Eco says about hermeneutics:
The problem with the actual world is that, since the dawn of time, humans have been wondering whether there is a message and, if so, whether this message makes sense. With fictional universes, we know without a doubt that they do have a message and that an authorial entity stands behind them as creator, as well as within them as a set of reading instructions.So, if for Eco interpreting a text is an Ersatz for interpreting life itself, according to this model the meaning-making we engage in when we read a text is, in my opinion, more than just a substitution for the meaning-making we engage in as societies. Through semiosis, we as communities of readers cultivate our own ecology of meaning--something that is living rather than just in flux, something much more like the electrons pulsing through a computer than just the hard drive itself.
Thus, our quest for the model author is an Ersatz for that other quest, in the course of which the Image of the Father fades into the Fog of the Infinity, and we never stop wondering why there is something rather than nothing.