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It's my belief that most productive Wikipedians first arrive at the site wanting to do something that is against WP policy -- advance a point of view, cover something that doesn't meet the notability guideline, etc. We also often bring baggage from other Internet sites where the social norms or policies permit different kinds of behavior -- social networking activity, attacks, canvassing, what have you.
None of this makes us bad people, just people who have not yet fully absorbed the Wikipedia ethos.
Americans aren't supposed to learn how the rest of the world does things, the rest of the world needs to learn how Americans do things. While we're at it, we should get rid of this Frenchy metric crap and restore intuitive Imperial units (US version, of course). And abolish those funky Arabic "ciphers" with their "zeros" for good ol' Roman numerals.