Working backwards through your reply, we totally CAN and DO have cloaked vessels (well, airplanes), because the (radar, and even optical) sensors aren’t sensitive enough to pick up heat or electronic signatures if they are decreased below a certain point. Huge bomber looking on the radar to be a dot as big as a sparrow, out among all the other natural sparrows out there type thing.
For space, we can’t even track big things like asteroids, with the telescopes, and/or find lifeboats, people, or even airplane debris out at sea unless we can narrow down the volume of space somehow BEFORE we try to use the optics or radar for the actual search.
It’s a matter of the huge volume of space they could be hiding in.
EVE is already unrealistic that all space weapons only function at melee range (seriously, 300 km max range for lasers, in space?). They do that so the game isn’t reduced to “look at the dots on the radar”, so we can see the ships they put effort into designing.
Cloaking has no purpose other than to introduce some gameplay strategy. Why does the knight piece move the way it does in chess? It makes no sense if you think about it.
You know that afk cloaker is there because of the Local chat channel list. Some people want to remove Local. In wormhole space, Local doesn’t work, so cloaking provides the opportunity to “hunt” in PVP, and that’s the point of it. Local takes that away, reducing the whole thing to just psychological games. Still, it’s a bit of excitement, though you’ll get used to it and ignore it.
Don’t think about how to find the AFK cloaker. You can’t do that, it’s impossible, and he/she will come to you anyway. Think about how you’ll lock them down and kill them as soon as they uncloak.
Actually, scratch that, most of them will observe your waiting fleet for a bit before uncloaking, and won’t uncloak if you’re too strong.
Think about how you can bait them into uncloaking.
In any case, that’s the concept of cloaking - specific game rules that are designed to make you think a little and try to come up with outside-the-box solutions.