George Carlin said "You nail two pieces of wood together that have never been nailed together before and some schmuck will buy it from you." I usually follow that statement with "If you don't believe me, go to Bed, Bath & Beyond." That's where you find a lot of infomercial products. Wal-Mart has an aisle for it too and so does True Value and Ace Hardware.
People seem to be more willing to buy stupid stuff than they are well-designed, practical, truly useful stuff. One could argue that this speaks volumes about the intelligence of the buying public. The segment of the population that comes up with stupid products knows this. Their goal is simply to make a lot of money as quickly as possible with minimal effort. The people who fund development are of the same mindset. The same can be said of the entire entertainment industry.
Can this be changed? Maybe. I often wonder if we created the scientific equivalent of American Idol, how would that alter public perception of geeks. If you could have an annual or bi-annual competition with huge rewards (we're talking 8 figures here) and a ton of publicity e.g. touring the talk-show circuit, would you be able to give the winners rock-star status thus encouraging more people to go for it instead of cranking out noise that some people think is music.