Have you tried making sure the problem is not actually a solution to another problem, so that they could solve each other? For instance, is the problem edible?

Have you tried reading the manual? Have you tried writing the manual? Have you tried becoming the manual?

Have you tried switching to manual?

Have you tried automation?

Have you tried reframing acceptance of the problem as a form of costly signalling, and using the problem as a gatekeeping mechanism?

Have you tried reframing ignorance of the problem as a form of costly signalling, and using acknowledgement of the problem as a gatekeeping mechanism?

Have you tried claiming that the problem ‘builds character’?

Have you tried encouraging people not subject to the problem to subject themselves to the problem in order to ‘build character’?

Have you tried accusing the outgroup of trying to solve the problem? Have you tried accusing the outgroup of failing to solve the problem? Have you tried accusing the outgroup of successfully solving the problem? Have you tried accusing the outgroup of being incapable of understanding the problem?

Have you tried accusing the outgroup of trying to prevent the ingroup from solving the problem? Have you tried accusing the outgroup of having a solution to the problem and keeping it hidden?

Have you tried accusing the outgroup of believing the problem to be a problem? Have you tried accusing the outgroup of believing the problem not to be a problem?

Have you tried accusing the outgroup of using the problem to introduce a solution that is worse than the problem? Have you tried introducing a solution that is worse than the problem?

Have you tried claiming that all solutions to the problem are worse than the problem? Have you tried claiming that a recent failure to solve the problem marks the end of all possible progress on or debate about the problem? Have you tried defining history as the story of failed attempts to solve the problem?

Have you tried accusing the outgroup of only pretending to care about the problem in order to gain social currency? Have you tried only pretending to care about the problem in order to gain social currency? Have you tried pretending not to care about the problem in order to gain social currency among people who believe that the outgroup only pretends to care about the problem in order to gain social currency?

Have you tried being very vague and confused in your descriptions of the problem, so that in your mind it metamorphoses into a different, more easily solved problem? Have you tried being very vague and confused in your descriptions of the problem, so that in your mind it metamorphoses into a different, much more difficult problem?

Have you tried using markov chain monte carlo to perform a weighted random walk of solution space?

Have you tried building an institution whose continued existence depends upon the problem having already been solved?

Have you tried building an institution whose continued existence depends upon the problem being insoluble?

Have you tried solving the problem?

Written by

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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