Once upon a time in Europe, only monks could read and write. I'd say the process is fairly commodified now.
One of the things we forget about the star trek universe is that the development of anti-matter power generators and replicator technology fairly destroyed the concept of material prosperity. Material prosperity is infinite and ubiquitous in that world. If we develop technologies that destroy knowledge scarcity, what will that world be like?
I believe a number of problems that we are having are consequences of the fact that we are destroying knowledge scarcity faster than we can invent new forms of value. I'm slightly shifting my worldview in order to accommodate this idea.
The knowledge industry is coming out of its infancy. Right now, we are the equivalent of serfs just seeing the dawn of the industrial era. We live in knowledge squalor. Only a few of us even get information. Knowledge transfer is a very tedious, time consuming, expensive and labor-intensive process. We make a fetish of human intelligence because of the pride we take in overcoming barriers to learning, but learning is just a natural part of human existence, like growth. Yet our intellectual health is stunted because of our feral knowledge environment. We have yet to master the tools that will surround us with the proper environment, we have yet to develop the discipline to stay away from unhealthy knowledge.
We are still like foragers with cast iron constitutions. We still experiment with wild ideas and have yet to grasp the unadorned nutritional value of the information we consume. As we evolve our mental cuisine we will come to understand such things.
Our media industry recognizes the fundamentally unquenchable desire for mental stimulation. We know that deprivation of human contact and mental stimulation is the greatest torture. So the industry feeds us massive amounts and we never get enough. We have shown little capacity to reject more and more, we become obese with information.