Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences


Cosmic VarianceBy Sean CarrollJanuary 27, 2006 10:19 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news


Political humor is always a tricky business; taking a strong stand tends to annoy more than half of your potential audience rather than make them laugh, while wishy-washy moderation just isn't that funny. This post at Joe's Dartblog pops open the hood on an editorial cartoon and looks inside, showing something we don't usually get to see: three cartoons about a single topic, by the same artist, taking three different ideological perspectives (left, moderate, right). Even though I love political humor when it's insightful and agrees with my predelictions, this exercise actually highlights the rhetorical limitations of the medium. A joke isn't an argument, and the techniques of humor can be much more directly employed to bolster opinions that people already have than to make them see things in a new way. (Via the Volokh Conspiracy.)

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 50%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In