Having equal rights does not mean having equal talents, equal abilities, or equal knowledge. It assuredly does not mean that “everyone’s opinion about anything is as good as anyone else’s.” And yet, this is now enshrined as the credo of a fair number of people despite being obvious nonsense.
I think there is something strange going on. On one hand, there is the rise of the 'knowledge economy' and 'information working' (ie. working with your head, rather than your hands). While at the same time, the value of real knowledge/wisdom seems to be declining. (Which is what the linked article is about.)
My guess is that this is a transitional period – we are seeing the end of the days of isolated pockets of 'clever people' (ie. people in universities, editorial teams of publications, advisors to the powerful), but haven't yet moved to a world where we really understand the impact of global networks (whether thats people – Facebook, Twitter etc. or information – Wikipedia, blogging communities and so on.)
(I like to think thats my view as an 'expert', rather than just an optimist…)