Exchanging emails with John Moore is always, like we used to say, a trip and a half. Although the ones below are not nearly as hilarious, nor as long, as the ones enshrined in The Moore Follies they are not without their interest, especially considering the truculent professor's most recent embarrassments both scientifically as described by subversive grad student, and in his own "fighting" words that are preserved in The Moore Declaration of War.
To those encountering Moore for the first time, it is true that everything you read with his name attached is written by a real person, who at one time was in fact a very big macha in the AIDS church and spent a gazillion almost of your taxpayer dollars before his recent demise, and even briefly had the ear of the editors of the NY Times as someone whose words of "truthiness" had some relation to truth. Now he is just a caricature of his former empty self, good only for the Sunday funny pages.
I wonder if John ever encountered data that he looked square in the face? Maybe, just maybe when he was an undergraduate before the daze of AIDS came over him.
Whenever I publish anything on YBYL that I think John might enjoy, I send him the url, and blind copy his dean at Cornell Med. and my old compadre Kendall Smith. Usually within 15 minutes, the logs begin to record IP Address: 140.251.128.# (Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College and Grad) visits.
The email that begins this tepid tango concerns his perusal of the article last Monday that calls into serious question the procedural utility of HIV antibody testing in South Africa.
I refrain from adding any interlinear comments because you can have so much more fun providing your own. [I use lower case orthography whenever I want to yank his e-chain.]
To: John P. Moore / Feb 27, 2007 12:10 PM
"are you the 'jonathan' who left [briefly] the asinine comment yesterday to my latest article, saying the fault lay with me and roberto's lab technique in being unable to perform a 'simple lab assay' according to the manufacturer's directions and not the chemistry of the test?
you might therefore wish to look at today's 'recent comments' to see an intelligent person's response to the article. h."
Feb 27, 2007 12:14 PM
"Sorry Harvey old chap, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.......... But then, the ramblings and ravings of a demented mind, particularly the mind of a "retired" academic, are never going to make a lot of sense now, are they? Just keep deluding yourself.
And for the record, unlike you people, I communicate under my own name. John"
Feb 27, 2007 12:17 PM
"well you lie a bit as usual since you read the piece in question ( i have you logged john), for the rest...what can i say..i am demented, delusional and dangerous too (at least to you, although not nearly as dangerous as you are to yourself)"
Feb 27, 2007 12:29 PM
"Oh, we know you monitor YBYL log-ins, but we check it now and then for information that might be of use against you and your fellow denialists (and we find it sometimes, so keep on posting). I just wish the quality of the writing hadn't dropped off so much since the days when David Steele ran it - he was so much smarter and more erudite than you are. Shame what happened to him isn't it? I guess he "retired", didn't he? [David Steele is a successful SF attorney who began this weblog as Hank Barnes in Nov. 2005. In October 2006, I convinced him to turn it over, so to speak, to this HB.]
You're not dangerous, Harvey. You've never succeeded in anything you do, so why you would you suddenly start now? Your threats are empty words, because you lack the power to change anything. You're a lightweight in the denialists' ranks, a mere gadfly, a commentator on events, not a framer and shaper of them. We take others seriously, but not you - you, we just laugh at in your "retirement". John"
Feb 27, 2007 12:35 PM
"you are one funny fellow .....
and btw jp...thanks for all this ammunition...look for it suitably framed this weekend, on the sunday funny pages along with three new cartoons in a bob gallo(w)'s humor mode that make the fauci ones [1, 2] flattering....
btw...if michael geiger is not worth 'crushing', and 'taking seriously' and i am not either...who is it you are after exactly? they should be warned.... "
Feb 27, 2007 12:45 PM
"Post away! We don't care; nobody who matters takes your site seriously. But note that the information flow is one way, we won't be revealing our plans, targets and activities to you. You'll find out after the fact. We don't issue warnings........
Michael Geiger? Don't make me laugh! He's even more deluded than you are. And even less influential (if that's possible......). John"
Feb 27 2007 12:55 PM
"i notice that you did not answer the question, as usual...if not me and michael g. who do you consider the deadly to you denialists to be?
why do you think i am in "retirement" when it seems that you are the one with all the free time on his hands. i thought you had a big lab to run, and papers to write, and review, and editorials to compose, and meetings to chair, and grants to renew (ok, maybe no renewable grants .... and clearly no new ones that have a prayer of funding), but you do get the point dr. dizzy ... how do you manage to always be right there at the email trigger every time i decide to yank your chain?
and like everyone else, i continue to be amazed that you hang yourself higher and higher in this way ... are you certain you do not take prescription or other medications?"
Feb 27, 2007 12:57 PM
"How little you know....... And how little I care about what you know and what you do......."
Feb 27, 2007 1:00 PM
"well don't let me keep you from your busy day any longer than i have...myself has a 3-cushion billiards match at my club that i need to prepare for ..."
I can't help wondering what John does for relaxation and fun with the guys after he has "gotten to the end of [his] day's work on HIV/AIDS research" .
Yesterday I wrote him again, in normalized orthography. [As Thelonious Monk once famously remarked to George Wein, "You can't wear the same hat everyday, George."]
Mar 3, 2007 10:47 AM
"I know you are drooling in anticipation of tomorrow's promised YBYL offering. Or maybe you are just drooling from all the Thorazine. In either case, I wonder whether you or Bob will enjoy it mas.
I suspect he will since he can read (even if his geography, physics and logic are less than A level) and despises you so intensely, and because once upon a long time ago (when you were still wearing school uniforms) he had a wicked sense of humor and was even able to laugh at himself."
And I give Prof. Moore the coda (same tune, same verse).
Mar 3, 2007 11:08 AM
"Sorry to disappoint you, my dear old "retiree", but we only look at your site now and then to see if there's useful ammunition to use against the denialists (there sometimes is, so keep it going). But poorly drawn, (italics, HB) childish cartoons and your demented warblings hardly constitute useful material now, do they? But, like I've said to you before, the quality of the YBYL site went down hill pretty rapidly after David Steele "retired" from running it."
Harvey Bialy is the founding scientific editor of Nature Biotechnology, and the editor of "You Bet Your Life".