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3 out of 4 stars
Review by James Craft
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Early on in the volume, the author explains that: “Now, hardest to accept in our story is that Arrow and Lace cannot be defined. They and their balance are illustrated and individually recognized.” Then the author goes on to explain Arrow and Lace using lists and explanations of the identity. For example, he compares plants and animals, or matter and energy, to justify the framework of Arrow and Lace being presented.
The author is playful in a lot of different parts of the story in ways I didn’t expect. For example, right at the beginning, the author is introducing Arrow and Lace and presenting their different aspects when there is an interruption to discuss the steamroller wrecking through society and leveling civilization. Lace gets annoyed by this and tries to get the narrator back on track, and it creates a sort of funny back-and-forth dialogue between the ideas trying to help explain things.
The biggest problem I had with the book was that a lot of it was abstract, and certain explanations felt like they weren’t clarified or explained clearly. For example, the concept of Arrow and Lace feels very intuitive, but the author presents it like it is both a completely non-existent thing in popular culture but also something that has existed for an incredibly long time and is fairly common. It can’t be both common and wholly new/unique at the same time, and I feel that the author should have spent more time covering the topics as if they were new ideas being presented to explain modern problems rather than trying to pretend like they were ignored ideas we already deal with on a regular basis.
Another problem was the simple vagueness with what is presented. It is essentially the idea that there are these two contrary ideas in everything, and they represent every possible facet of life. The author compares himself to Aristotle, or Kant, or other great thinkers and says that, alas, he is the first person who is able to write about this broad idea, but it is so broad it feels useless. Time and space on the same level as football and baseball, and those latter two are only being compared because one is aggressive and the other is relaxed. The mere fact that the author says these ideas cannot be defined but exist everywhere in a purely abstract form made the ideas both confusing and weak.
The closest the author came to creating a good explanation of what Arrow and Lace might represent was through Achilles and Odysseus. Achilles was glory bound and socially blind, which made him an arrow type personality, and Odysseus rejected glory and focused on politics and society, and therefore lace. However, the fact that this comparison almost made sense actually made many of the other comparisons make even less sense. Toward the end of the work, there was a discussion about bringing everything back together and tying it all in, and things started to become much clearer and make more sense there, but it was a long way to go to reach this point.
Despite the problems with the work, I enjoyed reading The Forgotten Balance: Arrow and Lace quite a bit. Dale Wilt Evans did a good job of putting together some compelling information and explaining it all quite well. I rate this book with 3 out of 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who likes non-fiction works about the changes going through our society. It is creative and done in an interesting style, and it serves as an excellent thought experiment beyond what is being presented. However, the ideas should have been presented a little more concretely, and rather than trying to explain everything through this lens the author is presenting, work should have been put into making the ideas easy to understand and agree with.
The Forgotten Balance : Arrow and Lace
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Donnavila Marie01 wrote:What is all about balance? What is its connection with arrow and lace? I am excited to read this book especially that as presented in the review, it has humour in it.
I hope you enjoy reading it! It was super interesting and not at all what I expected!