Scott Seigel

HCS
Helena, MT, United States

About Scott

Bio

I've lived on three continents. There are few things that don't interest me. If anything, my interests are so broad that I have a hard time staying engaged with a single topic.

Languages

English, German, Korean

Areas of Expertise

psychology, Engineering - Electrical Engineering, Education , Math and Science Education, Cooking

An idea worth spreading

Everything is connected and we disservice ourselves, our students and society the more we compartmentalize education. Educators are increasingly super-specialized and thus unable to teach in an integrated way. This results in dry, irrelevant classes that pretend to exist in a vacuum. The ideal teacher should be first very diverse, second highly proficient in his or her subject matter and third dedicated to the engagement, enthusiasm and future success of their students. The poorest excuse for teachers are those who are apathetic, complacent, unenthusiastic, incompetent and more concerned with securing their positions than ensuring that their students learn and grow.

I'm passionate about

Doing hard things, getting outside my comfort zone, trying something new, solving puzzles, teaching kids that other people have given up on.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

154260
Scott Seigel
Posted over 2 years ago
Hans Rosling: Religions and babies
Robert, As a former soldier I'm very appreciative of what you're saying on your website, particularly concerning underlying causes, sound metrics, and valid indicators of success. As a math teacher, I tend to see "peak anything" as merely the point where a function's (or data set's) derivative reaches zero. Consider sin²(x). Between x=1 and x=2 it appears to reach "peak sin²(x)." But this is REALLY misleadling because it is a periodic function. My intuition is that things are way more periodic than we'd like. Not only does the pendulum swing, we're bound beneath it on the table of life, it's well sharpened, and its distance to our necks is slowly diminishing!
154260
Scott Seigel
Posted over 2 years ago
Hans Rosling: Religions and babies
Jim, I've re-read my post and re-watched Rosling's talk...and I think I proved one of my sub-points: that I'm too political. Those giving you thumbs up clearly see what you do. There's an old woodworker's saying, "Measure twice, cut once," that applies here too. Next time I comment I'll be sure to view the talk at least twice before I post. I do still think Rosling is political, but I realize that he is playing to a like-minded crowd. His stats are simplistic and in some ways unusual--though definitely very cool. As a math teacher, I've had to oversimplify mine at times too. He's certainly sharp, provocative and humorous, so it's a good talk. Thanks for keeping me honest! (especially with myself ;-) Scott
154260
Scott Seigel
Posted over 2 years ago
Hans Rosling: Religions and babies
The only decent research I've seen is done by the Barna Group which is Christian. From my perspective this talk is fundamentally socio-political. It's not really a rigorous statistical, epidemiological, ethnological, demographic or economic analysis, though Rosling genuinely seems to think it is. I know that I am political. I can't ignore my personal politics (no matter how objective I try to be). I doubt many people honestly can. Lately I wonder about this anti-capitalist, anti-religious social, political, media and academic undercurrent variously called political correctness and communism. It's even been labeled "thought police" and "anti-free-thought." Whatever you call it, it's real and it denies traditional values like honesty, responsibility and accountability in favor of various "new" values (eg. entitlement). The fallout of this manifests in my students and my younger colleagues as apathy, complacency and general laziness. The work ethic is gone and those advocate it are going fast. There are many sterns warning about this in history. Jefferson wrote, "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Franklin said, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” There's an apocryphal quote (ostensibly from Alexander Tytler, 1787) stating, “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy…” Go ahead and criticize religion, but without absolute standards, "practical" wisdom rings hollow.
154260
Scott Seigel
Posted over 2 years ago
Do you think feminism is becoming a sexist anti-men movement?
Timo, What gives you the right to brandish allegations of sexism toward me? I may be a white man, but I do not believe that makes me automatically sexist or racist. I am also of Jewish descent. I despise every form of prejudice (religious, racial, sexual, orientation, etc.) because that's precisely how the Holocaust started. I see many similarities now in America. Media and politicians today get a lot of mileage from baiting one side against another. My thesis is that reverse sexism, racism, economic discrimination and polarization are just as bad. You call MY economics naive and then bring up glass ceilings and pay inequities. I am a teacher. As a man, I receive substantially LESS than my comparable female counterparts. They get hired and advanced in accordance with EO preference rather than professional competence. Everyone knows this, yet nothing is done to address it. Artificial market manipulation has never produced sustainably positive outcomes. In my case, the payment inequity is a matter of policy, men made too much in the past, so now its the women's turn. The only "fair" system is a blind one (management teams should sanitize candidate identities when assessing for hiring and advancement). Sadly, that's unrealistic. Here's the reality: 1) When my female colleagues have kids, they often leave the workforce temporarily (and often permanently). I am the only man I know to have done this. 2) When they return to the workforce, they are afforded substantially more credence than I was even though my situation was almost identical. 3) I have never, to my knowledge, out-earned my female colleagues despite better performance reviews, more education and teaching more classes. 4) I have been passed over for advancement twice because there was a need to "avoid placing a white man into a leadership role." WOMEN (ASIAN and otherwise) do not behave identically to men making such comparisons nearly impossible (and probably irrelevant)
154260
Scott Seigel
Posted over 2 years ago
How has enduring some extreme hardship profoundly impacted your life?
Linda, Your appreciation for the amazing blessings of your life inestimably improves it. Thank you. I've discovered that after counting my blessings, it's hard to remember why I ever felt sorry for myself, shortchanged, poor or in some way disadvantaged. Somehow each one of us has an advantage--the most inspiring replies have been from people who've snatched victory from the jaws of certain defeat. I am certain I've gained more from this discussion than anyone else! Thanks to you (and everyone else) for so many great comments! Scott
154260
Scott Seigel
Posted over 2 years ago
How has enduring some extreme hardship profoundly impacted your life?
You, sir, are an overcomer--well done! I expect that you inspire many people around you. Reach out to the ones who also have hardly any friends due to their financial condition. Tell them your story! Encouragement is one of the greatest gifts we can give--and it costs us a little time and a small effort to be kind.
154260
Scott Seigel
Posted over 2 years ago
How has enduring some extreme hardship profoundly impacted your life?
Tracy, Your mother's inspiration isn't wasted here! My own personal triumph, more than anything else, has been getting closer to God. It's impossible to really take others into that relationship, but they can see it and they sometimes pursue it for themselves. For most of them it takes a hardship to get moving. Without God I would be dead. With Him I'm able to help others--that's what my life is all about. Thanks! Scott