The anthropic principle of problems

One of my favourite arguments is the anthropic principle, which is basically that you can't say too much about how likely life is or isn't to exist, because we're that life. No matter how unlikely it is, assuming it happened somewhere, that life would be standing around the same as us thinking "how strange that we happen to exist despite all those odds!" If it didn't happen, well, nobody would be around to notice. What I like about it is that it injects an extra source of information into the argument: the existence of the arguer. It has this in common with Descartes' famous "I think therefore I am".

There's another anthropic principle I've been thinking about, which is a kind of anthropic principle of problems. Problems that are easy to solve go away, problems that are hard to solve stick around. It's easy to think something like "how strange that we humans happen to have this set of systematic biases that, among other things, prevent us from noticing and correcting those exact same biases!" But, of course, that's exactly the anthropic principle at work. We presumably have other sorts of biases that are already corrected, and we don't even think about them.

And, of course, it's also easy to think "how strange that I have some particular set of problems that are difficult to solve". But there's nothing strange about it; you also have problems that are not difficult to solve, you just don't think of them as problems. Probably, you don't think of them at all.