Coyotes in the fortress. Ay!

5 min readAug 19, 2019

A week after the DWeb camp, we see a coyote in the Presidio area. My friends had spoken of sighting coyotes lately during their neighborhood walks. Schyler had come by to the Internet Archive to see me and we had walked out to grab lunch. He remembered there was the best bagel maker around the corner, NY style, and treated me with a poppy seed bagel sandwich. With our lunch bags, we walked towards the Presidio. I was telling him about my last time there was when I had attended the iAnnotate conference at Fort Mason. I had seen large cannons pointing towards the Golden Gate bridge. The stories that ensued had made me realize that these well preserved cannons were a memorialization of the Golden Gate gate itself. I recalled that it was called the Battery Park. If I could, I would annotate that location with information about a “bathery” on a hill near Bangalore. The villagers often spoke of a bathery on the hill. That I was awe struck when I had discovered on that hill, a Peruvian like structure reminiscent of what I had seen around Cusco and Machu Pecchu, a man-made stone mound now called “Bathery”. It had taken me long to figure out that this was an artillery battery which might have even had a cannon on it. It was a point where the watch would get a 360 view of the region around . The region that was once a fortress and an empire is now an important bio-diverse forest representative of the semi-arid area with leopards and peacocks. Moreover, the villagers speak of the Bathery as having apparently housed a cow, a sheep, hens and other animals during the “times” — my annotating mind is now linking this to the Noah’s arc! And the aesthetic of the Stone Walls of Cusco was here as well, as I then carefully looked at the way many inner fort walls around were built. While to me this seemed diametrically opposite to the way the fortress at Presidio park had been memorialized, I cannot now ignore the vision of green in the eye of the coyote at Presidio.

I told Schyler of the Coyote Woman and her coyote calls at the kick off event of the camp, and how maybe she would now be calling us out to the coyotes of the area. What had happened as the coyote woman spoke was that I become aware of the complex history of the region around the camp. Wendy had called everyone to the now metaphorical Wayback Wheel for a kickoff gathering on the hay-bales we had pulled together the evening before. As we walked towards it, the Wayback Wheel appeared to have a tattered roof that cleverly colored the play of time, but when looking up, it appeared to have woven them into an unifying vision of time. This unraveling of “kalaya tasmai namaha” and weaving of society, technology and design reverberated with the coyote calls as if a statement on gender sensitivity here was the recognition that the masculine patriarchal sledgehammer hit not only the women but large swaths and tracts of peoples over time, and that it is time now to see through this as technology can enable instant communication among people and across communities. As I had also come from far, as a Global Fellow, Wendy asked me too to share a word from my region and the word “iruway” (ant) came to me . An anthill has complex constructions inside that go unnoticed until the anthill gets hacked up. Anthill, as a metaphor, has inspired our Anthillhacks events. Anthillhacks is thus about discovering and knowing a location and its intelligence. Her performance seemed to be an initiation ritual that nudged the one to indulge in the intelligence at the camp.

Someone who had liked her presence there vented that there was no need for her to have expressed anger in her otherwise nourishing performative poetry of the local California neighborhood. Was this venting a reaction to our memories suppressed by having disconnected the abused communities from our lives. Ca 2011, we had started looking at what work was going on with respect to content accessibility for the people who cannot read and write. I got a meet the head of accessibility of one of the major Web services company, a young man, who had a hard time figuring out how the Web Accessibility Guidelines was not useful for a majority of Indians; and after some time he had blurted “you mean the donkeys who are not educated — what would they do with the information on the Web”. The uneducated and the low-literate seem not be angry or not to be able to express their need to understand the laws and the acts of their nation. How has the issue of accessibility been dealt with since eons — was accessibility even an issue before the printing press? This question had lead us to peek into renarration and other processes used by traditional nomadic storytellers. Genealogy tellers would come to your home once a year, open a book of records, and sing to you about you, collect new information from you and update their records. An intricate form of decentralised data service that was personalized and rendered in a manner that everyone in a family — including the young and the women — could look forward to it. If we can foresee the coming of age with such storyfied and personalised content delivery in the future, we maybe able to justify our wish to educate someone so they can access content as a belligerent transitional period.

(CC0) I wish that this is renarrated in person to someone else. Or via annotations on this document. Or by using it in another elucidating rendition. Or by suggesting edits and by contribution of associated narratives. Or by suggesting links and images and other media. Or even by using algorithmic approaches to render it to a group. Or by reading it out to the coyotes near you.