Based on my concept of “Contrast“, there’s another alternative use for it. Contrast is used for making a value judgment on an unknown position, to gain understanding through context.
Contrast summed up, is the speed limit. Without knowing it, you don’t know if your current speed of say 55 MPH is fast or slow. That might be fatal on a windy road, or dangerous on a freeway! It all depends on the contrast that the contextual information provides.
But “inverse contrast” is for deducing possible right action based on a data set.
I wrote about a good example of this in “How To Be Depressed“. It may be difficult to determine what exactly we should do to be happy (although I would agree with Henry Ford), we can easily see some things that might heavily contribute to depression. And thereby deduce some opposite actions that will help us go in the right direction.
The main danger of this is thinking that the opposite of something bad, is good. In fact, most things in life are balances. Doing no exercise isn’t healthy, but doing too much exercise isn’t healthy either.
If health is the goal, there’s a specific right amount of exercise. And that right amount is what you should use as contrast for your current exercise activity.
But if you’re currently unhealthy and don’t exercise, you can use something like inverse contrast to determine what that might look like.
So if health is the goal, the inverse goal is sickness. And if we asked “What’s the best way to get sick?”, we could come up with answers like:
– Don’t exercise
– Eat lots of sugars and carbs
– Don’t eat quality food
– Maintain low levels of activity
– Don’t measure your body’s metrics often
Now we know some things that wouldn’t be good if our goal is health. Again, some of these are balances, some are continuums.
But we can often deduce quite a lot of valuable insights about something just by hypothetically thinking about a goal inverse.