tourism without tears

“Cultural tourism is concerned with a country or region’s culture, specifically the lifestyle of the people in those geographical areas, the history of those people, their art, architecture, religion(s), and other elements that helped shape their way of life.” – Adapted from Wikipedia

Because the impacts of tourism are intertwined with so many different aspects of a society, economists find it notoriously difficult to deal with, particularly for the purpose of differentiating good tourism from bad. The studies economists generate should be looked on with great skepticism, especially if they are paid for by those with a vested interest in the outcomes. Since tourism is the fastest-growing major industrial sector in the world economy, however, there’s no excuse for ignoring it.

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"IBM parking lot 2013" Illustration by Frances Halsband

“IBM parking lot 2013″ Illustration by Frances Halsband

‘It’s a mesmerizing occupation, this assembling and reassembling of ghosts. I never tire of it. You can preserve a parking lot in its magical/sinister era (when it required a “gold coin” to get out!) from its future incarnation when grass from the old farmland days will once again burst through its cracked and empty acreage. You can bring back the dead, hear their voices, reassess their place in your overall design, and even find new jobs for them.’

— Gail Godwin, “Ulster County Ghosts,”
from Kingston: The IBM Years, 2014.

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It’s not easy being independent.

It’s been three years since I said goodbye to a steady paycheck and joined the nervous but optimistic ranks of the self-employed.

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This isn’t your father’s IBM. Your father’s IBM used to make calculating machines and computers, mostly in New York State, and export them all over the world. This generation’s IBM describes itself as a $100-billion worldwide business that seeks to structure big data for the world, to teach customers about cloud computing, and to connect effectively to social business through peripheral devices.

Buying components from other manufacturers, the new IBM makes fewer and fewer machines itself. Instead, IBM provides business services for a digital world.

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Paul Harrington, the director for the Center of Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University, was the keynote speaker at a discussion on the state of the Hudson Valley economy last Tuesday at the SUNY New Paltz Student Union. He provided a thorough analysis of the ups and downs of the regional labor market during the recent harsh recession and slow recovery.

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The overarching premise for this plan is a belief that Advanced Primary Care (APC), defined as an augmented patient-centered medical home (PCMH) that provides patients with timely, well-organized and integrated care and enhanced access to teams of providers, is the foundation for a high-performing health system.
— New York State Health Innovation Plan, December 2013

There’s nothing equivocal about the direction of New York State’s healthcare planning. Its performance goals and the time frames for achieving them are blunt and specific: This is what we’re going to do year by year for the next five years and these are what the measurable results will be.

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caduceus pairs

Turning a cruise ship around in a narrow channel is child’s play compared to what’s involved in changing a national healthcare system. Forget that millions of lives are involved in profound organizational change as compared to the matter of a few thousand paltry souls on a pleasure ship. In a systemic turnaround of an entire sector of the economy, the considerations that must be taken into account are infinitely more complex as well as more important. In addition, there’s the politics: the fact that the captain, the crew, the passengers and the owners all seem determined to steer this particular vessel in different directions probably doesn’t help.

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