When I'm talking about 'techies', I'm including the entire spectrum of them; competent, and INcompetent.
Point: Even a 'competent' techie doesn't necessarily have the 'spark' necessary to solve a problem that will improve the overall quality of life for humanity in general; if it was a common trait, we probably wouldn't have many of the problems we have today.
Point: We agree, most problems aren't and can't be solved by technology alone -- but try explaining that to someone with a Masters in Business or to a Marketer; usually, it's like talking to a brick wall, and sometimes a brick wall is more intelligent. These types tend to have one thing and one thing only in mind: making more money. They don't care about (or, sometimes, even seem to be able to conceive of) 100 years down the road, they only seem to be able to think in terms of next fiscal quarter, and whether they'll get their bonus this year. Solving the real problems that face humanity require social solutions, that perhaps are enabled by technology -- but, again, there's usually little to no money (if not a flat-out loss) in solving these sorts of problems, thus nobody other than charity organizations are interested in solving them. It's capitalism gone bad, yes, but sadly that's the world we live in. I can easily see the 'competent' techies, who actually have the spark necessary to do some real good and cause some real change, not doing so because of money -- because when you wife looks at you with that look, that says "I'm not so sure I want to keep being married to you if you're going to go off the rails like this", and he knows he has to provide for his family, often such high-minded ideals go out the window in favor of earning a decent paycheck.