Think of this as Volume 18, Number 6 of the newsletter I have written weekly since March, 1997. Enjoy.
That expertise came in many forms. There was political and economic expertise, there was engineering and scientific expertise. A host of new professions grew up around this expertise. The world that these people built was defined by this kind of knowledge, turned to science, then through engineering transformed into technology.
The Internet Era has flipped all this on its head. You don't necessarily need to know stuff when you can Google it. The job of building knowledge, which was once about brute force, is now more about building connections, both among facts and among the people with access to those facts.
This is why the center of economic life has shifted in the 21st century. Power that resided in factories early in the 20th century, then moved to offices later in the century, now resides on university campuses.