Reading for Battle

Battle Readings is a regularly updated compilation of articles, essays, and opinion pieces relevant to the themes of the Battle of Ideas.

Choose a theme from the listing on the left to narrow your search, or view all readings.

Technology & The City

China turns to robots as labour costs rise
Automation and robotics are increasingly seen by the farsighted Hong Kong and Taiwan entrepreneurs – who own and operate many of the factories in the province of Guangdong that first sparked the boom in the country’s exports – as a way to keep China’s industrial base competitive.
Rahul Jacob and Sarah Mishkin, Financial Times, 4 October 2012

Bloodhound supersonic car rocket test fired
The team building a car designed to drive faster than 1,000mph has tested the vehicle's rocket engine. The motor for the Bloodhound Supersonic car burned for 10 seconds on a static rig inside a hardened shelter at Newquay airport, Cornwall.
BBC News, 3 October 2012

Bloodhound land speed rocket test roars over Newquay
A British team building a car capable of driving beyond 1,000mph has tested the vehicle's rocket engine.
Jonathan Amos, BBC News, 3 October 2012

Engineering a recovery
Where are we going to find new jobs and growth in the British economy? Software, social media and mobile phone app development? Not according to Sir James Dyson - he says the government is ignoring the importance of hardware and engineering, which provide far more jobs.
Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC News, 25 September 2012

Glass Works: How Corning Created the Ultrathin, Ultrastrong Material of the Future
Lighter than aluminum, harder than high-carbon steel, and many times stronger than regular soda-lime glass, Pyroceram eventually found its way into everything from missile nose cones to chemistry labs. It could also be used in microwave ovens, and in 1959 Pyroceram debuted as a line of space-age serving dishes: Corningware
Bryan Gardiner, Wired, 24 September 2012

Design Wants to Be Free
An object is no longer something you merely consume. It’s something you create. Famed industrial designer Yves Behar explains why this shift is a revolution in the making.
Yves Behar, Wired, 24 September 2012

Getting planners off our backs
When planners view their mission as a civilising one, then the aim of building public space must be to eradicate behaviour that doesn't accord with perceived civic values.
Alastair Donald, Future Cities Project, 22 September 2012

Anne Power and Claire Fox: is this the end of social housing?
The National Housing Federation conference ends with a debate on the biggest question of them all – are housing professionals facing the demise of the sector?
Hannah Fearn, Guardian, 19 September 2012

A Robot With a Reassuring Touch
Baxter, the first product of Rethink Robotics, an ambitious start-up company in a revived manufacturing district here, is a significant bet that robots in the future will work directly with humans in the workplace.
John Markoff, New York Times, 18 September 2012

China is losing its manufacturing lead
China’s attraction as a global manufacturing base has not worn off yet, but several developments are chipping it away.
George Magnus, Financial Times, 13 September 2012

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"Without ideas forged in the clash of opposition - there is no way forward. The Battle of Ideas is a must do event."
Lynne Featherstone MP, Liberal Democrats