One of the strangest principles of physics that I keep coming across is that of the 'typical observer'. For reasons I have never seen explained, we should have a problem in science if we aren't 'typical observers' of reality. I have never been able to understand what this is all about, especially when physicists try and talk about future observers as if it's somehow possible to take a statistical sample which includes things which haven't happened yet! Why 'observing' should have any scientific implication eludes me. Does an observer have to be self-aware? If so, why? If not, then why aren't ants more typical observers? What about bacteria? Atoms?
I know that I'm not a 'typical observer' because I'm gay - so I'm not even a typical human! I see this 'typical observer' stuff turn up in supposedly respectable articles in New Scientist. If anyone can tell me what the point of this concept is, I would be grateful.