Ignorance should never be treated as a virtue. And yet that is what is happening and this original post proves that this attitude is still alive.
Yes, still alive.
Not to sound like an old fart, but this is a very old problem that won't go away. It's easy to be frustrated by the infinite well of stupidity -- the human fate to play whack-a-mole with idiocy. For all the progress (including amazing tech) there's a tail in our intelligence distribution that is retrograde. Worse yet, there's a fraction in the intelligent part of the distribution that is cynical or lazy or evil.
To be clear, I agree with you. Stupidity pushes my buttons too. I differ in that I don't think it's a problem exclusive to modern society. I'm pretty sure that there never really "used to be a time when learning stuff was considered important" *in the sense* that most people thought that way. Rather, I think we've been lucky to benefit from the smart and non-cynical people who have, by virtue of their creativity and (perhaps, accidental) generosity, given us pretty usable tools of agriculture, commerce, art and humor to work with. Of course, those tools only work well for some of us and the negative side of those tools can be downright nasty to those without the means of most slashdot readers.
My point is that in spite of the large number of morons, I don't want to let that sap the infinitesimally small amount of good I just might be lucky enough to do without also, possibly, messing up in some colossal unintended way.