According to a status update on the facebook page of a friend of mine (which means it must be true), this quote:
”At this point we get into such difficult questions as whether a computer program can have purpose, or consciousness, or free will, or even a soul. I do not propose to address those issues now, because I am still chewing on the same questions concerning myself.”
is attributed to Guy Steele (whom fellow Wetmachanic Howard Stearns once told me he wanted to be when he grew up) in the book Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About by (“The Legend”) Donald Knuth, whose fondness for ligatures in TeX among other things, were oh-so-gently lampooned in the book to be mentioned in the next paragraph.
Of course such “difficult” questions are precisely the (ostensible) subject of the famous & brilliant novella Cheap Complex Devices, which you can read portions of right here on this very website, or better still, buy a copy! Any of y’all needing a nudge can start with this review, which gets to the heart of the matter quite nicely.