After recently listening to Tim Ferriss' interview with Pavel Tsatsouline, which is fantastic by the way, this quote from Pavel really stood out.
"The brightest young people today, what do they end up doing? They end up designing apps. In the 50s and 60s they designed spaceships. The dreams were so much bigger."
This is a topic I'm still pondering intently, so I'll just leave this here without commentary until I can further clarify my thoughts.