At age 8 I was reading about black holes in science magazines and had taught myself how to code in GW-BASIC
So you were a perfectly average 8-year-old in the 1980's. Good for you.
It was a different time. Kids today have advantages we would have killed for, sure, but they also face different problems. Parents also face dramatically different social and legal pressures.
When we were kids, it wasn't a big deal to ride your bike a few miles to a friends house, not checking in until after dark to ask if you can stay over night. Today, you're face would end up on the news before lunch, and net your parents a few visits from social services.
Christ, just look at shit like this. If it were satire, it would be too implausible to be funny, but that's reality.
Why can't little Johnny code? Because we suspended him for planning out a game where you shot alien space ships with guns. The Horror!
Blame "culture" if you want, but it's a culture we've created. We're not kids any more. This is our world now. We did this. We're the ones who allow nonsense like the above to continue unchecked.
What are you going to do about it?