Moralischer Universalismus in Zeiten politischer Regression. Jürgen Habermas im Gespräch über die Gegenwart und sein Lebenswerk.

Against “relevance” in art. “My discomfort with our current use of 'relevance' as a term of judgment is that it conceals its criteria, and that those criteria are not aesthetic, but social and political. I worry that if we make such 'relevance' not just one among other judgments we might make about art, but a condition of our interest, we have made that condition purely about the explicit, discursive content of art, its subject matter. In doing so, we devalue the elements of a work that, to my thinking, properly distinguish it as art; we deny the importance of form.”

Federico Fellini and the lost magic of cinema. Essay by Martin Scorsese.

Jeff Koons teaches art and creativity.

George Perec's isle of tears.

Review of three new books on bird cognition by Robert O. Paxton. What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing—What Birds Are Doing, and Why by David Allen Sibley; The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think by Jennifer Ackerman; and Flights of Passage: An Illustrated Natural History of Bird Migration by Mike Unwin and David Tipling.

Beauty and the brutalists: Why the most maligned style in history should be preserved.

What dust from space tells us about ourselves. “If it wasn’t for the dust, our universe would be a pretty mundane place... The dust links stars with everything else, with all the planets, all the living things on those planets. It’s the dust that’s responsible, ultimately.”

Growing inventory of black holes offers a radical probe of the cosmos. One black hole is nice, but astrophysicists can do a lot more science with 50 of them.

A brief cultural history of arm chairs and rocking chairs.