Points mean prizes.  They are a way of totting up advantage, measuring approval or support, and distinguishing between things of superficially similar value or utility.  But wizarding up a golden prize is not the only purpose.

The value carried in the process of exchange is not the value to the reader, or the value to the author, or to all those who can benefit from a system based on fair dealing.

The affirmation of value also includes publishing’s control of explosive power, the direction of a detonation, hitting a point of weakness, making a breakthrough.  And what it does in victory or defeat.

When fair dealing stops, value is turned to salt.