Shub-Internet: /shuhb´ in´t@r·net/, n.

[MUD: from H. P. Lovecraft's evil fictional deity Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat with a Thousand Young] The harsh personification of the Internet: Beast of a Thousand Processes, Eater of Characters, Avatar of Line Noise, and Imp of Call Waiting; the hideous multi-tendriled entity formed of all the manifold connections of the net. A sect of MUDders worships Shub-Internet, sacrificing objects and praying for good connections. To no avail — its purpose is malign and evil, and it is the cause of all network slowdown. Often heard as in “Freela casts a tac nuke at Shub-Internet for slowing her down.” (A forged response often follows along the lines of: “Shub-Internet gulps down the tac nuke and burps happily.”) Also cursed by users of the Web, FTP and telnet when the network lags. The dread name of Shub-Internet is seldom spoken aloud, as it is said that repeating it three times will cause the being to wake, deep within its lair beneath the Pentagon. Compare Random Number God.

[January 1996: It develops that one of the computer administrators in the basement of the Pentagon read this entry and fell over laughing. As a result, you too can now poke Shub-Internet by pinging Compare kremvax. —ESR]

[April 1999: is no more, alas. But Shub-Internet lives, and even has a home page. —ESR]