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End of Reason

You missed the point of my piece, and accuse me of ignorance.

It’s so ironic that a piece trying to counter the argument made by the author serves as the perfect evidence to support his very argument about the rampant navel-gazing in tech. Homelessness, and the suffering that accompanies it, is not a mundane problem. It’s a humanitarian crisis that affects close to 2 billion people in the world, with the worst affected living in the richest countries (imagine what it does to their self-esteem). To vacuously characterize this crisis as mundane is not just crass, it’s the very ignorant behaviour that has given rise to the likes of Donald Trump. I’m sorry but I don’t want the leaders of a new space civilization to be apathetic uncivilized brutes.

There are over 9,000 problems in this world that are horrendous, yet they are mundane. They are mundane because we know how to deal with them and most are caused by failure of policy, organisation, or management. I believe when he is referring the tech industry he means the average employee, and he has no skills relevant to solving poverty. 
The tech industry has done quite a lot to address economic disparity. Developers give up their free time to provide free/open training to people to enter their sector. It is the most inclusive of all professions with comparable salaries by an order of magnitude.

At this point you lose me.

One might argue that fixing municipal administration (read earth habitation) is not a tech problem, but the same logic must be extended to Mars projects then.

One latter does not follow from the former. Municipal Infrastructure was a tech problem and we solved it, so it no longer is. We figured out how to make infrastructure on earth, but can’t stop people running the thing into the ground.

Mars infrastructure and rockets are tech problems because they are yet to be created and improved to the point of viability. Then the martian colony could produce poverty, homelessness, or Space Hitler — those aren’t tech problems.

Maybe Jeff Bezos or other C’s of tech companies could apply their management and influence skills to deal with these problems. Maybe, like you say, they are indeed self-important assholes with no regard for human suffering around them — I wouldn’t know. But that has no bearing on Joe the JavaScript developer, so stop condemning him.

Natural world

I think that he meant that the entire action happens withing a sandbox, and given enough effort you are guaranteed to eventually find a solution
That scale does not make sense to me, nor is it something i have ever encountered before. Where did it come from?

Ecology, for example, is poorly understood and less tractable than religious extremism. Religious sects are understood and are definitely “deliberately designed systems”, and political tools. So is nationalism.

Why are you looking for abstractions?

On the extreme left you have your “imagine a frictionless surface” and on the very right perches the unbridled chaos of nature. NASA is somewhere in the middle. So is rest of our “advanced science”. Why? Because we have made it so, through centuries of abstraction and determinism, just so complex physical phenomena can be made tractable and hence teach-able.

What are these abstractions you are talking about and what are they meant to accomplish? Why should anyone be looking for an ‘abstraction’ of religious extremism? 
Are there abstractions for theory of relativity, for hydrodynamics, or for Quantum gravity?

What is this overlord business?

When we are asked to vote for senators, presidents and prime ministers we examine the candidates’ track record, why should tech guys get a free pass?
To sum up the author in my own words, putting apathetic uncivilised brutes in charge of running a chaotic, complex and diverse space civilisation

What is this meant to be? Did I miss the election day and Elon Musk became the new human overlord?They are just starting a few space companies. Like, what are we even talking about?