And yet...once they fell out of favour, they faced a life of ruination and poverty - that is, if they got out alive. Many were executed by the King when they became liabilities or when the King decided that he was being used. In the U.K., until Beau Brummel came along, every favourite ended his swath-cutting by either being executed or banished to a ruined life.
After looking at some of the liberal hysterics during election season, I'm tempted - even though it has a tincture of pop-psychology jargon - to think of them as suffering from "King's Favourite Syndrome." Many of them really believe that they falling out of favour with the federal government will ruin them. They're like a fellow who holds onto his job at all costs, convinced that if he loses his present job he's destined to die on welfare. Only in their case, their "company" is the government.
Should that dumbing-down continue, the syndrome will only get worse because it'll have more basis in truth. One of the "meta-educations" kids got in the olden days was how to be resourceful. Now, it all seems to be crowdsourcing: asking around.
Today's children can be and are resoureful, and have specialized skillsets.
I postulate that a world shift has happend that requires, simply by virtue of complexity, that no person can know everything, or even be familiar with everything.
Linux is probably the most widespread server operating system in the world, and no single person can grasp the whole of it. It is 'crowdsourced', with no central authority, except over the kernel, and that's not very centralized.