riffing.......what's wrong with the world is that people are taught that the only ideas that are worth pursuing are those which can produce an immediate monetary impact. i mean, how often are we bombarded by the idea of the "next big thing"? the "next facebook", the "next twitter", is there any room left for simply exploring the beauty of ideas? "knowledge" is now subject to the free market and i think that is a dangerous thing, because it boxes human existence into a particular set of ideas, and something revolutionary which may disrupt established systems is dismissed, or worse bought out and shelved because there's no money in it.
I just want to take this idea a bit further. Facebook and Twitter are both communication methods, something which has been of enormous benefit (as well as ordinary everyday chitter chatter) and both are free - except for advertising and promotional aspects. So your examples may unfortunately be a bit skewed. They were both born in an era of high capitalism where money is used to determine the value, so if they make money then it's because of that. The world and the economy is quite complex, where we need to be concerned is where vested interest in our essential infrastructure is forced upon us despite it's clear negative impacts and I'm thinking coal and oil in particular.