Author Topic: Occ The Skeptical Caveman  (Read 6871 times)

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Offline Jay

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Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« on: August 06, 2012, 11:04:37 AM »
Guys,

  I posted our latest video over the weekend that you can see here.
More importantly we have a kickstarter for this video http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sgu/occ-the-skeptical-caveman-a-new-webseries?ref=live because its the first in a webseries.  Anything you can do to help us promote the kickstarter would be awesome.  If you like the video and have a few bucks to help us out you can become a supporter too.  No pressure   ;D

Thanks for your help!

-Jay
I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. - Ford Prefect  "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Offline Diagoras

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 07:28:15 PM »
Great work, guys! I chipped in $25. ;D
“The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true.” —Carl Sagan

Offline superNova

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 12:44:17 AM »
So I just got done watching the short and I feel there's a serious issue right now.

The problem can be summed up quite simply; Occ isn't skeptical at all - He's a condescending know-it-all.

In the very first scenes we see Occ speaking to the uneducated fools around him in some upper class British like accent, lamenting over the fact he has to put up with these idiots. Is this really how you see skeptics? Upper class, smarter people having to painfully put up with those around them who don't understand the world like they do?

This gets worse when the other caveman opens his mouth and starts speaking in a very obvious southern accent. I mean geez guys, could you make this any more obvious who this is targeted at? If this video is supposed to be getting people interested in skepticism, why are you going out of your way to make fun of the very people this video is targeted at? Why paint the very people who probably need skepticism in their community more (the very point of this video according to, I think it was, Bob at the end of the last episode) as not only complete idiots, but the apparent opposite of "Skeptical Occ"?

Occ continues to get more and more frustrated with the idiots around him while angrily trying to explain what seems to him to be common sense to him. He shouts, gets angry, loses his temper, trying to make these people realize how stupid they really are. How is any of this the image we want to paint of the skeptical community? Is this really how you see us speaking to non-skeptics? In your day to day life if someone says "So I got some great acupuncture over the weekend", do you really talk to them like Occ does? No? Why not? Is it because it would be a horribly mean way of getting your point across? If this isn't how you would hold yourself in day to day life, why paint Occ like this?

Now if Occ was just supposed to be a joke video for the skeptics community, I can understand that. But the whole point of this video (and possible series) is to reach people outside the skeptical community. If that's the case, right now Occ is the walking stereotype of everything people hate about sketpics - Their know-it-all attitude, their short tempers, their refusal to "see the other side", and so on.

The issue of all this is that from the very first scene, Occ comes across as being much smarter than the rest. He talks much better, he acts more “human”, he isn't a slovenly dumb caveman. The message that comes across is that smart people are what make skeptics (after all it is "Occ the skeptical caveman") and stupid people are destined to pee in fires and make fools of themselves. Yet this is the complete opposite of what people should be hearing - the truth is ANYONE can be a skeptic. ANYONE. Any single person anywhere can become a skeptic - It has nothing to do with being smart. It has nothing to do with having a bank of knowledge in your head others don't - It has to do with asking questions. If anything, Occ should be the most regular guy in the entire world. He doesn't need to be smarter, he doesn't need to be any different - He just needs to be the one who asks questions. At the risk of making writing suggestions, I'd much rather see Occ just be like every other caveman but be the worlds first skeptic. When they are all about to pee in the fire he's the only one who asks "Wait, what was this supposed to achieve?".

I think the reason this video rubs me the wrong way is it projects the exact image it took years of convincing friends of what skeptics are not. It's supposed to be a video making people want to look up more on the skeptic community – but is currently just making fun of those who are not “skeptical” or not as smart.

I like the concept of the series and there are some pretty good jokes in there, but I honestly could never send this to my friends who are on the fence about skeptisism.

I'd love to see if anyone else has any feedback on this.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 12:46:59 AM by superNova »

Offline uolj

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 01:38:16 AM »
FYI... There is some discussion about this in the Episode #369 thread. Steve just posted something there that addresses some of what you talk about:

http://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,42908.msg9267104.html#msg9267104

Offline uolj

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012, 02:03:48 AM »
To add my two cents... I have to agree with your perspective superNova.

I appreciated Steve's response in that thread. One thing in particular stood out to me, though:

Occ definitely fancies himself an intellectual among troglodytes. That is something he will struggle with throughout the series. If our e-mails are any indication, that is a common experience for many skeptics, so it's odd to suggest that it's out of place.

This would make sense for something intended for skeptics. I can see how this series will be fun and informative for existing skeptics and even give many a character they can relate to. But is that really the target audience? I was under the impression a large part of the goal was outreach to non-skeptics.

If so, I'd imagine it would be off putting to people who don't relate to that experience, especially those who believe in things like peeing in the fire or who are often the target of "hick" insults.

If part of the goal is outreach, then I would think the most effective tactic would be to adjust the behavior of the "dumb" cave people so that they don't offend their modern-day equivalents. Even better, if you can find a way to make them relatable and sympathetic then you might actually have even greater success in getting converts.

Sometimes I forget that it isn't always obvious when people are providing criticisms, but I really am grateful for all the work you all put into this and so many other things skeptical. Thanks!

Offline superNova

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 12:50:32 PM »
@ uolj: Ah, I wasn't aware there was another thread going on. It's funny though how the post from Moloch mirrors all the points I posted in mine (albiet his might be better written). Kinda funny we hit on all the same notes :D

As for your post, spot on. The quote you had of Steve I'm going to reply to in the other thread, but your response of is very accurate and well written.


Offline Crowskie

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 01:09:12 AM »
I would like the show 100% more if Cooter was the skeptical one and Occ was was a snooty newager.

"See, Cooter, just poke yourself in the knee with this thorn here and your headache will go away!"

"That make no sense! Occ eats tree by the river and that make head no hurt!"

Offline Desert Fox

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2015, 07:14:23 PM »
They have been working on this since before 2012?
Is the first one even released yet?
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2015, 03:55:16 AM »
They have been working on this since before 2012?
Is the first one even released yet?

Well, as of 2 weeks ago it's "coming soon" so there's that:



Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2015, 02:04:37 PM »
Er...  Just stumbled across this and it looks a bit similar:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhsrKM_Qbo2bmh-0C0bK4Jvm0OqaRpnpA

Offline uolj

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2015, 07:42:21 PM »
No talk about Occ, yet? He's here:





« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 09:05:46 PM by uolj »

Offline spawnstar

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2015, 08:01:23 PM »
I'm impressed. It's a huge improvement. I'm looking forward to see the direction the series takes.

Online The Latinist

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2015, 10:00:49 PM »
I have to say, I was a bit disappointed.  The production values are good, but it was short and I thought rather contentless.  It also felt a little preachy.

And, really: one minute of introduction and three minutes of credits on a nine-minute video?
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2015, 07:05:18 AM »
The first episode didn't really grab me.  I mean it was fun seeing familiar faces in caveman garb, but I'm not exactly sure what I'm watching and why.  I'll keep watching though. Maybe there's more of an overall story arc that will make this more interesting.

Offline uolj

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Re: Occ The Skeptical Caveman
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2015, 01:20:10 PM »
Here are the final three episodes: