Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Einstein Philosophy: DWI, Numbers, & Life

I love Albert Einstein. His teachings, his understanding, and his words are truly words to live by. Keeping perspective or in Einstein's terms relativity is a life quest for me. So how does all this relate to who I am and what I do?

First, a favorite Einstein quote: "What can be measured is not always important and what is important can not always be measured."

Numbers and DWI Defense (what I do)

In the game of criminal defense where people like to keep score it is often true that numbers can lie. Is the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) an "accurate" number? Does it reflect "the behavior" on the night of the arrest? Did the car really travel over the center line three times or was it merely making normal (typical) lane corrections? Criminal defense and DWI defense do have a quantitative component but more importantly they have a qualitative component as well.

Does it ALL Add Up? 

Coherency (mental cognition, function, understanding) is something that is not quantifiable. You don't score a level of it on a graph or a meter. It is highly subjective, and yet can be a crucial element in a DWI case. Mental state analysis and opinion about that state are a touchy-feely, and qualitative perception. Measuring it in a laboratory is the stuff of science fiction or scientific research but not roadside police testing. If there is a difference between the measured and the immeasurable then why? Is it that the numbers are wrong? Is it that the client has a high tolerance? Is it that the police officer's report is biased? Attorneys must consider more than numbers when defending a client. Cases are often won by the immeasurable.

Numbers and Reviews (Who I am)

I was recently asked by an attorney to give them an endorsement (recommendation). I didn't know them so I declined. His attitude was kinda like you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. You help me and I'll help you. Come on Larry, no harm no foul, no one has to know. BUT I'll know.

In my younger years numbers meant more to me. I would measure a great many things, from how big my biceps were, to how much I weighed, to how much I earned, to how much I earned on a given day, week, month, or year. Statistics became the barometer (the dashboard) of my life and happiness.

I am at a stage in my life where principles and numbers may often collide. Mind you I still believe numbers are important just not as important. Einstein's perspective now dominates my conscious. How can it not after my witnessing so much life transformation. After the burying of family and friends, watching them go through long battles with cancer, and the ravages of divorce I am mindful of what can not be measured daily.

TripAdvisor Top Contributor

How can I in good conscious recommend something, or someone, or someplace without having been there or ever having met them or know them? I post dozens of reviews of restaurants, hotels, and blog about my opinions/my views/my philosophy but not without basis. Tripadvisor makes their reviewers attest to the veracity of the contact for each and every review posted. I love to travel. I have been blessed with an abundant life. I have been all over the world from the mountains of Peru, to the Pyramids, to the Great Wall, and many places in between. My two professional careers have allowed me to experience not just life but a grand universe.

The Internet is NOT a TV

I depend and rely upon that honesty (from others) when I decide on a doctor to operate on the eyes of my wife or to trust a guide to lead me through a foreign (and hostile) country. I do not want my internet to be a reflection of lies or opinions without base. I tell people it is not a TV set. It is not just for the companies and people with the largest bank accounts to dominate. A place to be pounded over the head into submission and told what we want to hear. I say no to that. The wonderful paradigm of the internet at it's inception was and is to me a medium of sharing. Where people can come to learn. Who would desire false relationships built upon BS and deception?

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.

504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850