All people have a "tact filter", which applies tact in one direction to everything that passes through it. Most "normal people" have the tact filter positioned to apply tact in the outgoing direction. Thus whatever normal people say gets the appropriate amount of tact applied to it before they say it. [...]
"Nerds," on the other hand, have their tact filter positioned to apply tact in the incoming direction. Thus, whatever anyone says to them gets the appropriate amount of tact added when they hear it. [...]
When normal people talk to each other, both people usually apply the appropriate amount of tact to everything they say, and no one's feelings get hurt. When nerds talk to each other, both people usually apply the appropriate amount of tact to everything they hear, and no one's feelings get hurt. However, when normal people talk to nerds, the nerds often get frustrated because the normal people seem to be dodging the real issues and not saying what they really mean. Worse yet, when nerds talk to normal people, the normal people's feelings often get hurt because the nerds don't apply tact, assuming the normal person will take their blunt statements and apply whatever tact is necessary.
Tiles -- Supermarkets used to have a trick placing slightly smaller tiles on the floor in the more expensive aisles of the shop. When a customer entered on of these aisles their trolley would click faster making them think they were travelling faster and thereby subconsciously slow down and spend more time in that aisle.
The fandom angle isn't especially compelling, given that this kind of story plays out not-infrequently in other online communities, but it's an interesting example. The "Ms.Scribe" described goes to extraordinary lengths to ingratiate herself among the community's elite, making many others miserable in the process. There's no apparent financial profit motive, and she doesn't seem to fit the profile of the traditional trolls at (e.g.) Slashdot, (i.e., it's because their favourite game is to make the little people dance).
Even more astounding is that someone thought enough of it to write such an exhaustive chronicle.
In the nineteen-eighties and thereafter, the artificiality only increased, as did that of all American mass media. The most obvious change is in the body, which has now been to the gym. Before, you could often see the Playmates sucking in their stomachs. Now they don’t have to. The waist is nipped, the bottom tidy, and the breasts are a thing of wonder. The first mention of a "boob job" in "The Playmate Book" has to do with Miss April 1965, but, like hair coloring, breast enlargement underwent a change of meaning, and hence of design, in the seventies and eighties. At first, its purpose was to correct nature, and fool people into thinking that this was what nature made. But over time the augmented bosom became confessedly an artifice—a Ding an sich, and proud of it. By the eighties, the Playmates' breasts are not just huge. Many are independent of the law of gravity; they point straight outward. One pair seems to point upward. Other features look equally doctored.
Gladwell might be right, but he glosses over those who can't afford health insurance. Try paying $234 a month on minimum wage.