I will start with a motivating example.
Earlier today, this question was asked on Math.SE. This question has now -8 votes, and is now put on hold. I answered the question, with a small jab at then end. Comments less than inviting.
The asker won't be back. If I were him, I wouldn't either. We squeezed the interest for Math.SE out of him, in that one question.
To me, it seems that for many people in highly technical areas, it's almost part of the culture to be real a--hats towards those who haven't spent half their life absorbing difficult concepts, and Math.SE is no exception. I can think of several profs like this.
As for myself, I find it more and more frightening to ask questions because of this elitist attitude, people don't seem to understand that what is easy for them is not always easy for me. And there's a difference between formality (no chit-chat) and decency.
Of course, good questions should go up, bad should go down, but at least we should be civil about it, especially towards completely new members who are only "testing the waters".
Is this something that others can identify with, or am I the overly sensitive fringe case? Can we do something about it? Should we?