In one of my previous posts I mentioned that "abstraction" or "pure" is relative and is a continuous spectrum based on ones imagination capabilities. People like balance between surprises and predictability. This is because it gives non-triviality more value that lets our most basic ego survive in a modern way. The more the balance is off the more frustrating one becomes. Too many surprises or too much predictability can be frustrating in different ways. Working on "real-world" problems can be frustrating because of too messy structure and less predictability. Theorists tend to be easily frustrated by this and choose to work where things are more predictable. They work by putting a "nicer structure" (e.g. black-box model for query complexity) onto the real-world and exploit that structure in a non-trivial way. Typically since these are essentially imaginary structures one needs higher mental abilities to be able to produce. Engineers on the other hand tend to work on real-world structures directly as they can withstand more frustrations with less predictability (usually because of monetary rewards). Of course monetary rewards are proportional to the amount of work on the real-world structures. An important point to note is that both use "principled tools" for exploiting the structures. It's just that engineering tends to be more lazy (demand driven) than theory. Both are "supposed to be" scientific enterprises and essentially all human beings like exploiting structures which leads to my following paragraph.
Through out my blog you can notice hidden and explicit inclination towards capitalistic philosophy with materialism. Capitalism is based on simple premises and sophisticated creativity while communism is based on sophisticated assumptions and minimal creativity. Here I mean creativity that can be objectively verified. According to me objective verifiability is one of the major steps in human progress. This is what that led to modern standards which clearly can support unprecedented human population. A simple example is that in ancient days "killing and conquering" was an honor which can not be justified except for lack of objective materialistic understanding. Materialistic modern way can be very useful in reducing domination by race, killing etc. Since people like exploiting structures people tend to build structures of their own to work on them. Materialism can be a very useful guide to focus on real structures (including the "nicer structures" I mentioned in my last paragraph) instead of intangible unverifiable imaginary structures. Since verifiabilty is inherent in capitalism and materialism things can not go unchecked while this is not the case with communism.