@Dirac - Interestingly, even though I don't agree with you, I didn't think what you wrote was offensive at all. Maybe I'm lacking in so-called "social adjustment skills"... I would say that Plato's cave has to do with something else entirely than an affinity for nice things or that those who like nice things are somehow blinded and those who don't are enlightened. I like nice things too. But I also know why I like them. That's the difference. It has to do with thinking-about-thinking or questioning why things are the way they are AND through that process seeing them for what they really are thus making a deliberate choice.
Many people don't do that. They take the default choice. That's not me being arrogant or elitist. That's simply a fact.
Indeed, "Hollingworth gap" seems to be coined by me (or at least I have the highest google page-rank because I think I got the term from somewhere else). The keyword you're really looking for is "communications barrier" and how it affects the "gifted". It's unfortunately not something that has received a lot of attention---likely because few people have cared about this problem.
(If something only affects 1% of the population and they seem to do okay, why bother to study it? When I grew up the prevailing pedagogical idea was that gifted kids should use their ability to act as teaching assistants for "slower students" as a way to remain challenged.)
The more difficult it gets to establish hard facts, the more politics matters. For instance, it is hard to establish facts about the economy and its working which is why this problem is argued politically. Conversed, nobody has a political position on the law of gravity. What goes on inside other people's heads (theory of mind) is perhaps the hardest thing of all to get objective facts about. It's therefore highly political.
Also, the smaller the part something plays in one's life the easier it is to ignore AND/OR accept differences. For most people football is just a game. Yeah, sure I might not be good at football (I doubt I can catch a ball) but I don't care about my skill because it's hardly relevant to my life. If you're really good at football, I don't feel envy; I don't feel threatened, I don't question my self-worth. However, if football was the way everything was done it becomes materially important. Imagine
if wedding ceremonies involved tossing footballs, kicking field goals and making plays. That buying groceries involved a kick and a punt. That watching TV required a quarterback sack. That all work involved doing various plays. That hanging out with friends meant a football game. That even talking or all forms of communication with other people somehow involved a football THEN your skill in football would become really important.
Now how and what one thinks about is a large part of life. It can not be easily dismissed.
So combine something which is very important with something that's hard to establish hard facts about and we have a major problem.
I think what we're seeing is just an unfortunate dynamic that occur whenever there are two groups and 1) The first group is significantly larger than the second group.
2) The second group is sui generis to ('can not be described by the language of', 'can not be comprehended by') the first group. And maybe vice versa, see (3).
3) Sometimes the first group can be described by the language of the second group. (There's an asymmetry!)
In such a situation, the second group will feel alienated from the first group. Conversely, the first group doesn't care because of its size and status as the majority. The first group may even be oblivious to the existence of the second group. Lots of finger pointing also results.
In particular, the first group will refer to itself as normal and phrase all values in terms of its own values. The second group will be seen as "unadjusted" or lacking important adjustment skills or even as psychological disorders to be cured. Majority behavior will be associated with positive adjectives and vice versa. This is run of the course in many areas: extroversion & introversion, gifted & normal, ERE & consumerism.
For example is the word "fun" more likely to be associated with
"outgoing" or "contemplative"; how about "fun and quiet" or "fun and exciting"? Fun means "enjoying", but it's associated with what the majority values to the point of being part of the grammar. If you say "outgoing" you almost gotta say "fun" in the same sentence.
If the second group begins to define its own values (rather than accept its difference as some disorder), the first group will see the second group as arrogant: "How dare they think different thoughts?!" Also, if the second group somehow finds a way to be independent of the first group (especially if the first group holds dependence as a positive value---this holds for all of the above: extroverted need other people, normal people need smart people (I have a collection of statements telling me it's irresponsible to waste my brain on being retired), consumers need workers for the economy), that's a problem too. Like if the nerds find out they don't need to be popular to be successful.
It is always expected [by the majority] that the minority group is the one who must spend the time and effort to accommodate the majority group. Why is that?
A person belonging in the minority can either 1) Spend time to conform. 2) Keep hidden. 3) Take social damage in the hope of finding other minority members to connect with.
If (3) holds, the outlash becomes worse. In that case, the smaller group essentially states that "not only do I understand your values, I also implicitly reject them in favor of mine" which goes beyond (2) "I don't understand your values, but I like mine". This is tremendously objectionable to the first group. It is particularly objectionable to any group where "fitting into the majority group" is a core value.
I think (3) holds for ERE vs consumerism (many of us, including me, are reformed consumers and perhaps engage ERE with religious fervor). I don't think it easily holds for extroversion vs introversion (I can not fathom what it's like to be extroverted ... is it like being high on vodka and red bull all the time?) ... I also can not fathom what it's like being like the average or anyone else for that matter in terms of intellect. I can just observe that I communicate easily with people who are on the same page and hardly at all with people who are several pages over and that it seems to be correlated with IQ and personality temperament.)
As a result, belonging to the minority group (or several of them as it may be) can be pretty damn annoying and frustrating. There's a great attraction in finding one's fellow minority group members and occasionally venting. This is essentially what you're seeing here...
It's quite clear that both groups somehow offends each other either intentionally or unintentionally (for example, while you considered your own post offensive, I didn't) through lack of comprehension or shared concepts/language. However, I don't think one group is holier than thou at all or that this forum is a particularly offensive group. We may use "normal" in the same way other people say "idiot", but on the other hand we wouldn't use "shy" the way other people say "introvert" or "nerd" the way other people say "lacking in social skills" or "ERE" the way other people say "sacrifice". It's really hard to tell if anyone means anything offensive or mean about it or it's simply a question of a lack of mutual understanding.