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Day 8&9: We left Red Bluff yesterday and we are now in Arcata gearing up for tomorrow’s stop at the Humboldt County Library in Eureka, CA.
Our time in Red Bluff reminded us the resemblance between our physical and our knowledge landscape. Red Bluff is a town of 10,000+ people but houses and businesses are so spread out that everyone drives their car (actually it was mostly trucks and SUVs which probably accounts at least in part for the poor air quality) which creates a feeling of disconnect from the community. We didn’t see any active public places (parks, squares etc) where community members were getting together and sharing their space in common.We are witnessing the shrinking of public spaces where culture and community emerge. This is mirrored in the erosion of the public domain. As knowledge/information has become more and more hyper-commodified, the idea of public ownership of culture drifts into the fog of history. This bookmobile has been a great opportunity to remind ourselves and those we talk to about the importance of the public domain in the creation of culture and community.
In reaching the crest of our journey, we will have a busy few days coming up including being part of Oysters and Ale festival, a WiFi fundraiser for Humboldt County Library at the Eureka Marina on Friday. We’ve been ready for all kinds of technical difficulties and have backup plans for all contingencies *except* for our wheels. And wouldn’t you know it, we’ve run into a blocked radiator in the bookmobile. No way around it but to get it in the shop for repair now! So far the bookmobile has been good to us so we are very hopeful. We will keep you posted.