While I find your comments interesting and I think there's some truth in there, I think it's ridiculous to assert that all intelligent people should be tinkerers, builders, and tech-oriented. I think one of the reasons that we have so many idiots in management and politics is that when a kid is good at math we steer them toward engineering whether it's something they actually enjoy or not. One of the most appealing things about non-engineering fields to a lot of people is that they can side-step intense math courses. For instance, I was appalled to learn that my girlfriend's nursing program required no more than a basic algebra course and bio/chemistry 101. After that pretty much everything was nursing specific like A&P and pharmaceuticals.
Mathematics is a pure logical exercise that has value beyond working with numbers.
if you have an IQ of 150-170 and are not doing your own research or tinkering to come up with something new, you are wasting your brain.
Perhaps this falls under the "something new" category, but Michael Crichton wrote some pretty damn good books and he went to Harvard Medical School. Neil deGrasse Tyson is pretty brilliant and his main occupation is that of a pop figure who teaches and evangelizes science. Nate Silver uses his intelligence to predict the outcomes of sporting events. Okay, maybe that last one wasn't the greatest example.
My point is that it would greatly benefit society if companies were run by people who understood more than ROI, if politicians did more than play a social game with one another, and if educators weren't limited to their speciality. I can understand wagging the finger at those who don't contribute to society, but I interpreted your post as saying that contributing to technology and industry is the only way.
I think IQ is an irrelevant measurement. When it comes to mathematics, I think it's a failure of our education system that we allow students to graduate (both high school and college) without a strong foundation in that subject. The same goes for biology and chemistry. Every day I'm confronted by people who believe the most inane things because they don't have a basic understanding of biology or chemistry. But now I'm just ranting.