I've been thinking a lot lately about computing cultures. XML culture, for instance, feels very different from Java culture. Though I do most of my programming in Java, the work I do leads me into creating XML-oriented interfaces that are far removed from the suggestions in Effective Java, for instance.
While I program in Java, I don't think I'm part of Java culture - I even find some aspects of it profoundly disturbing. I've concluded over time that Python is probably a more appropriate medium for what I want to do, but I've got all this easily-mined work in Java...
I think similar issues arise in information modeling and storage. I wrote a short piece on it yesterday, "The (data) medium is the message". The bit I quoted from McLuhan, which I think is pretty much at the heart of the matter, is:
"Environments are not passive wrappings but active processes."
Programmers tend to think of ourselves as active and the environments we program as passive, but it's definitely a two-way street, even before you get into the environment-changing possibilities of open source.