Galileo was funded by patronage of the rulers of Florence. We don't know who paid Archimedes, probably the Tyrant of Syracuse. The idea that large amounts of money get spent to make interesting things happen is echoed in nature, where bower birds create decorative nests and deer grow enormous antlers to broadcast "look at me, I have lots of resources that I can simply waste."
Well, waste is the wrong word because there is no concept of waste in nature. Stars simply pump out energy while converting elements into heavier ones, quite pointlessly, and the energy will ultimately degrade into background heat regardless of whether it goes to make mobile phones or boil some carbon dioxide on Mars.
Carry on folks. There is no cosmic plan, you aren't part of it, so you might just as well do whatever makes you feel happy. Buffett's observation applies; the human world is better for railways, radio, steam ships, aircraft, the Internet and mobile phones. Even Nepalese goat herders and Indonesian fishermen benefit from mobile phones and, in the latter case, the Diesel engine. The original funders may have lost money but few of them would have lost all of it owing to the wonders of the Stock Market.