The Norwegian culture and society are socially progressive, relatively open minded and well informed (thanks to a decent quality media). They tend to seek solutions that benefits society as a whole as much as the individuals (universal healthcare and free education at all levels are just two examples). Still, the small size of the population – and maybe a different conservatism – means that those interested in unusual topics are very few and create small (or no) communities. There may also be a conservatism in typical choice of life path.
In the US, the culture as a whole is far more conservative, and many tends to be less well informed (due to corporate media). They tend to perceive (or create the perception of) a conflict between solutions good for society as a whole and for individuals. But the large size of the population allows for subgroups of people with similar interests to gather and explore new paths, to a far larger extent than what I have seen in Norway. Since I have non-typical interests (e.g. permaculture, Zen, Breema, NVC, holistic health, etc), it is far easier for me to explore them here, in a community of likeminded people.