1) The difference is that the experts' opinions are not being amplified anymore,as there is no reliable "authority index" on the web yet. Should we trust wikipedia to build, say, LHC?
2) People actually read less books http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2007/12/24/071... . I guess he's referring to works of fiction and philosophy that require long linear reading, not reference material.
3) Classics are called "classics" because they convey fundamental ideas that shape our society. I would argue, though, that the problem is that "classics", as in "seminal books" are not being written anymore. Btw, Socrates never wrote anything.
4) True, i dont see what's bad about foregoing memorization of facts that are not relevant to one's pursuit.
5) Getting through college is just the start for academics. Making a profound discovery is the goal and it's much more difficult than making a moderately successful business. [My theory is that the role of luck is much bigger in entrepreneurship than in academia]
Classics are only classic in retrospect. It's not easy to say exactly what will be remembered from the last 30 years, but I'll bet the answer isn't "nothing".