> Basically it states that most of the time the academics are more concerned with chucking out lots of papers and promoting said papers, to get more citations. Improving the state of affairs, or even coming up with something applicable, is secondary.
Speaking as someone who is hopefully soon to be a recovering academic, this is systematically true.
Your sole value as a researcher is measured in papers (weighted by the impact factor of the journals in which they're published). That you create something further is irrelevant; as I've been told, "there's no line item in the grant for lines of software developed."
If you expect to be employed as a researcher, you must produce papers. Everything else is secondary and, as I've seen discussed on ScienceBlogs, may also be viewed as detrimental to your prospects of securing tenure. As a graduate student and postdoc, the sole goal for which you should be working is to produce more papers to get a job. After you (after some number of postdoctoral positions) land a (hopefully tenure-track) job, your sole job is to produce papers to obtain grants and get tenure. I've seen the faculty hiring process from the inside and the first and primary metric is how many papers and in what journals. If you tie for someone else, teaching may be taken into account. Maybe.
That you produce anything else is purely secondary and often counterproductive. You need papers, not software or novel experimental gear.