I also think you hold scientists up on a false pedestal. They don't think they are all that and what you may have thought of, they already thought of a decade ago. There is nothing the masses can offer that they haven't already thought of or tried because it 'might just work'. There are probably a few who can add to the table, but they are in school right now working on their PhD for their field of study ready to put their ideas to the test when they start their science career.
I have a friend who, when he gets out of college, has been promised a job at well known electronics company with a salary around $70k.
 Sorry, I don't buy the "my friend is being offered $70k/year straight out of college, but wants to work for Blizzard instead" line. I'm gonna call bullshit on this one.
Imma have to agree with you on this too. I have never heard of anyone making that 'right out of college'. Maybe within a few years if you're good at that thing you do, hit a great idea or are one of the rare prodigies.
However, if this is true, I'd say, 'take the 70k job, work a few yrs to get some experience and then move on to follow your dreams.' That's what I did. Not with programming though.
"Three guys sitting in a room, hacking away, watching porn, and getting paid to do it — life was good," Then he added "The only thing missing was the beer."
I just see it different. Could also be the fact that when I worked with a team in those days, it was always remote with the others scattered across the country and it wasn't hacking cable companies, but routers. So, there was no TV.
I've never watched porn with other guys, nor has any one of my male friends asked if I wanted to watch some porn with them.
I'm sorry, but watching porn is a private thing.