On the other hand, I saw the best minds of my generation pour their talents into finding eyeballs for ads and and writing bots to trade castles in the air with each other...
There's nothing new about this, though. David Ogilvie went from being one of the most important people in British intelligence to being the head of an ad agency. Isaac Newton spent his dotage trying to turn lead into gold. Graeber's article argues that technological progress is largely due to military competition:
It’s often said the Apollo moon landing was the greatest historical achievement of Soviet communism. Surely, the United States would never have contemplated such a feat had it not been for the cosmic ambitions of the Soviet Politburo. We are used to thinking of the Politburo as a group of unimaginative gray bureaucrats, but they were bureaucrats who dared to dream astounding dreams. The dream of world revolution was only the first.
One of Graeber's larger points is that technology is a product of opposition. My larger point is that technology exists outside of opposition, and tends to kill fewer people in that case.