And those things aren't supposed to be patentable. How you get from "not supposed to be patentable" to "does not exist" is beyond me.
May I also observe it isn't me making a normative claim that such things that are easily re-constructed by anyone should not be patented. It is descriptive, right in the legal definition of patent; it should be not obvious to one skilled in the art. Again, the very fact such a clause is necessary is evidence that there is a set of things obvious to one skilled in the art that exists, or why bring it up?
Calculus and RSA -- two things that I think most of us would agree are "non-obvious" and were invented independently.. and may I add that the documented independent inventions were generally with a few years of each other? The evidence suggests that despite modern romantic notions of creative inspiration springing from individual genius, invention usually owes a lot to societal need and the current intellectual milieu.
That's stretching it a bit. Just because more than one person hits upon something doesn't mean it's obvious; and as we know, it's much easier to understand a working instance of something than to discover/invent it.
So we need something to get around the problem of 'see new thing - figure it out - declare it obvious - sue to overturn patent'. Maybe the proposed first-to-file requirement will help that by taking the patent office out of the history-investigation business and just acting as a recording service, letting the parties fight out their dispute in court; I hope so. But it's hard to come up with some catch-all definition of what constitutes 'obviousness' because that will always be open to both honest and mercenary dispute.