I’ve got this need to program. I wake up in the morning with sentences of a literate program. Before breakfast — I’m sure poets must feel this — I have to go to the computer and write this paragraph and then I can eat and I’m happy. It’s a compulsion; that I have to admit.
There are mathematicians who never think about anything finite, and they hardly ever come down to countably infinite — they publish terrific papers just talking about kinds of infinity that are mind-boggling and they’re able to make snese out of it and that gives them satisfaction. And there are similar things like that in algorithms. But for me I’m turned on mmuch more by the ideas that I would be able to use in my machine.
~ Donald Knuth