Conflation is inevitable when it comes to behavior, human or otherwise. That’s probably whey they say that the world is largely comprised of shades of gray rather than just black and white. Simply put, when something is true, the opposite is simultaneously false. It’s human nature to think of them as separate, but for the purpose of today’s conversation we will be looking at them as inextricably intertwined.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why thinking of opposite’s simultaneously is useful at all. If you understand the basic concept that all behavior is connected to varying degrees, you have already won half of the battle.
If you begin establish a habit of taking a snap shot of something’s opposite, you will start a chain reaction in your brain as a matter of course. Basically, you can sometimes locate the truth by using a respective false as a point of reference. If lights on a display represent truth, then the dark parts of the display are rendered false. Do you use the darkness as the outline of the picture or the light? It is important to take a mental snapshot of both images and to always remember that one cannot be the enemy of information itself.
Think of when you look at pictures that represent two images at once. The image changes depending on the point of view like the famous one of the old lady that looks young from certain angle. If we can avoid regarding the duality of things as useless information, we become more well rounded in our critical thinking and thus more three-dimensional in our behavior.
Take for example the beautiful woman who eats pizza while wearing a shirt that says “ I hate pizza”. The opposite of hate is love, and people who choose to eat pizza love it. In this particular case, it does not take a rocket scientist to discern the truth. Does the truth make the woman a target for the secret petty police? The answer to the question is probably no.
Developing such a cognitive habit is useful in a world that is actually built on pretense and outright lies. That does not mean that we have to be distrustful to the point irrationality. It merely means that we must keep an open mind and avoid pettiness both in ourselves as well as others. It is a social skill that becomes more and more useful as we get older.
At any rate, the chain reaction used to describe the special causality that this essay is based on is important because the path to the truth is not always a straight line. If you calibrate your expectations to find a certain kind of truth, coming across a falsehood should not mean the end of the line for your personal investigation. It simply means that the you have to pivot the same way that the truth did at that point in the chronological order of events.
This kind of logic can be applied to myriad situations of varying complexity. The results of any inquiry will likely be labeled as subjective, thus the need for discretion when publicizing observations of this nature has to be determined by the individual in question. Think of it as less like a news channel that shouts headlines and more like your own personal north star. Either that or think of yourself as the opposite of people who choose this direction.