There's a blog named Coding Horror that has made the rounds recently thanks to a post about The FizzBuzz Test. (Which is an interesting entry itself, but which this isn't about.) One person I know, upon hearing a basic overview of the post, immediately claimed that Joel was a failure.
The guy who writes that blog is named Jeff. Who's Joel?
Joel writes a similar coding blog named Joel on Software, possibly the most popular coding blog around right now. I personally feel, in general, Joel makes excellent points and is frequently right on the money. Once in a while I disagree, but this tends to be because we work in substantially different areas - the languages and techniques a bug tracking package developer uses are quite different from what a game developer uses.
Now, Stonecypher, the failure-claimer mentioned two paragraphs above, hates Joel. I mean loathes him. He's gone to the extent of writing an unbelievable eighty-four-point rebuttal, with subpoints, successfully devastatingly and perfectly proving that he plain doesn't understand Joel's writing style, and not a hell of a lot else. (I've actually written about this before.) So he hears a point which sounds similar to one Joel would make, and I'll admit easily that it sounds very similar to Joel's arguments, and immediately leaps upon this person as "one of Joel's idiot followers".
I've been reading through Jeff's blog for a while. It's good. He makes damn good points and he writes well. He also doesn't have boundless love for Joel.
Now, I'm not going to argue whether Jeff's critique of Joel is correct or not. I'm not going to argue whether Stonecypher's critique of Joel is correct or not. (I suppose I could in the future, but right now I'm simply not interested.) But when Stone disregards Jeff because he feels Jeff is a follower of Joel, and Jeff himself has publicly criticized Joel, something is wrong here. Stone's letting his prejudices jump in the way of even acknowledging Jeff's points. After all Jeff must like Joel because he writes in a similar way, and therefore Jeff is wrong!
Recently I'm finding myself disagreeing with Stone more often than agreeing. I'll admit this. But I still listen to his points because he's a smart guy, and that means he gets things right reasonably often. Sometimes things I wouldn't have thought of.
Ignoring people entirely isn't often productive. Ignoring people based on a single opinion of theirs? That's just dumb.