i really enjoy reading joel on software articles and since no one seems to have mentioned this one, i thought i talk it up a bit. this week's is on biculturalism (its actually a review of a book by eric "i-love-a-good-controversy" raymond) and while it deals with two programming cultures (unix and windows) it does serve as a very good reminder about the importance of trying to understand "cultures" other than one's own.
i've lived in bangkok for more than 20 years and have had my nose rubbed in thailand's culture all the while, my east coast american cultural skin has been rubbed clean off in places. perhaps because of this i don't find it all that hard to get into other cultures while i develop cf applications. its "normal" for me to make an app come out of the gate i18n. but you certainly don't have to live 20 years in some place other than your hometown to get an i18n mindset, all have you to do is not be so "provinicial" and recognize that there's other places in the world than what you have in your frontyard--there are also a lot of messy technical details but that's another story.
in any case, the article's a good read, my ranting aside.