Letter To The Editor: Why Should We Settle For Anything Less Than Excellence?

By KHALIL J. SPENCER
Los Alamos

There has been quite a bit of back and forth on Mr. Antos letters in response to those with whom he disagrees. I suggest a simpler solution than ones offered by other letter writers: Screening.

Back when I first started writing letters to the editor in the late 1980’s in Honolulu, these had to be printed out, signed, put in an envelope, and mailed. I suspect that weeded out a lot of bad copy. Further, one assumed that the editorial staff of the newspaper was under no obligation to print our two cents, so we were very careful to write compelling, A-student prose. Unfortunately the invention of email and the ease of hitting the send key has lowered standards.

The easy way to prevent these long winded ad hominem attacks and counterattacks is to simply state that the Los Alamos Daily Post is not obligated to print whatever appears in its inbox. Perhaps people will be more careful to write thoughtful letters if they know that those letters which don’t meet A team standards will end up in the trash folder.

In a community founded by scientists and engineers, and which depends on the largess of the American public to fund us under the assumption that we are the very best, why should we settle for anything less than excellence?

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