“But the problem we have is that there are, in fact, people who honestly believe that other types […] are lesser people who are not worthy of that sort of respect. And so when people make these sorts of jokes, on the assumption that everyone around them knows it's a joke”
Right, that’s a problem. The case more common here is that you say something, like the aforementioned driver programmers are “all” morons (I looked it up by now, and it sounds like the almost-not-an-insult „Depp“ would be it), ⓐ you don’t believe they’re not worth $something (respect, or whatever), and ⓑ (orthogonally from ⓐ above), you still respect that person for doing what they’re doing in their area and saying something like “they’re all morons” isn’t meant insulting.
Us “computer freaks” often grew up picked on by classmates, and as such, we have “input filters” on communication that add politeness or, as giraffedata said in the other comment, makes us “nice guys” and take things tongue-in-cheek, whereas “the establishment” has grown up picking on people like us and, on the other hand, being polite and even politically correct in their high society, and thus have “output filters” on what they think, before they say.
I’ve seen enough BSD-versus-Linux and lots and lots and lots of BSD-versus-BSD (or FreeBSD, which isn’t really a BSD *g*) trench warfare, but it’s been a long time since I recall someone _really_ thinking someone (a member of the other party, or, say, a woman) wasn’t worth any respect. (We do state that we think “Aunt Tilly” shouldn’t be root on their own computer; they should instead pay a student to administer it and support them, and be mere users. But that’s just another façette of: people are *not* equal, and thus should *not* be treated equally, just with equal spirit/respect. They may be absolutely great at, for example, painting. And I’m not bad at cooking, playing the flute and, although I didn’t practice for a decade, crotchet (never knitting though, so don’t expect any Stricktux or knitted dæmon from me ☺). It would be boring if people were all the same. We *did* teach a female coworker who used to be helpless in the kitchen a bit of cooking ;-) (she’s very good at tech stuff though) But the end is, that people complement each other and thus can help each other.)