A reply to Mike’s reply
Having been through several conscious loops of over-riding and reconfiguring “valence” at many levels (in training for deep diving, in training for survival in very cold conditions, in surviving a terminal cancer diagnosis, and others) it seems clear to me that while valence may start with relatively simple biochemical roots, it can actually become a very complex function in and of itself. It seems to me, from about 50 years of active investigation on myself (over 40 of those within the context of having a very high probability that indefinite life extension was a real possibility that might be available in my lifetime, and from my interests in biochemistry, AI, logic, computing, complexity, evolution and life more generally), that valence can itself become a recursively complex system with many modifier functions.
I am now very confident that the “physics” of consciousness is essentially a software on software thing – a software entity existing in a subconsciously created software model of reality, and of course all software is influenced by the “hardware” it is running on, and we have many levels of highly evolved hardware systems within us. So it seems clear to me that it is a very messy, very complex, highly recursive set of systems. And having been writing computer systems for over 40 years, I know how easy it is to create systems whose behaviour is not predictable by any method faster than simply letting them do what they do – maximal computational complexity has that messy property. I like both Jo Ito’s and David Snowden’s approaches to such things.