What became known as the CATaC (Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Com - munication) conference series began at a specific time in Internet studies-and in a very specific experience of culture shock. I describe these beginnings as an introduction to the conferences for three reasons. One, the experience of culture shock illuminates both the conceptual and normative dimensions that came to shape the conferences. Two, this culture shock rests on a kind of ethnocentrism1 that remains difficult to avoid, even among those of us who are privileged to research and reflect in these domains. Overcoming such ethnocentrism is a core goal of the CATaC series-and articulating it clearly from the outset is helpful. Finally, we will see in the conclusion that this kind of ethnocentrism-despite the kinds of developments and advances in understanding that I detail in the second section-remains intransigent, if not predominant. As it does so-specifically among those of us who study and to some degree may shape the histories and nature of the Internet-such ethnocentrism remains a core problem and danger.