Welcome to RIP Guides!

I realize this is a little long winded but please read on.

RIP stands for "Reasonably Intelligent Person." I do not consider myself a dummy, an idiot nor do I feel I am stupid. Not everything is as simple as it seems to those who have already learned it. So if you are not happy reading something that calls you a dummy, or an idiot or simply tries to "keep it simple stupid!" then perhaps you may be a "Reasonably Intelligent Person" who realizes that they are not stupid and it may not all be that easy.

Just so I do not offend anyone unnecessarily, let me start off by saying that all those books that the have the intellectual pejorative in their names are fine books. I have owned a few of them on different subjects, and have found that as an overview with continued reference for further study they make a wonderful first book on any new subject matter. This site and these guides are not intending to be a competitor to them, nor do I mean to put them down in any way, with the single exception being that I do not like the names.

The intention of RIP Guides is a little different that these resources anyway. The concept involved here is more along the lines of how I have personally learned the best. When I have taken an interest in something new, the first thing I do is research it. This can be done either by taking a course or workshop in it, or calling around to places that sell supplies relevant to it, read all I can get my hands on about it, do online research or join forums on it and meet other people involved with it. The key, however, is the last part. Once I begin interacting with people that are likewise involved, regardless of their level of experience, I find that without fail, both of us are able to learn something one from the other. It may even become competitive as to who can come up with the coolest new thing to show the other. This is, in my opinion, the most natural and effective method of learning.

Take for example new electronic devices. It doesn't really matter which ones, be it computers or cell phones or MP3 players or whatever. Adults, catch on slowly, figuring out and using the features they use most and then they go to being productive with it and that's it. Kids, however, seem to almost magically know how to use every feature on these things and it us not because they read the manual. There is no magic involved. Kids because of the social structure are exposed to many other kids, where they can show-off their new toys, and impress each other with competitive oneupmanship on the use of features, "like, I can't even believe you didn't know how to do that :)"...

So with all that in mind, and hearing people say they wish they were kids again, I propose that we become like kids in our learning and sharing of our aquired knowledge.

Initially, I was thinking of calling this site "Now What?" because I imagined the titles of many articles would be "I just got a computer for Christmas, Now What?" or "I want to learn to play chess, and I know there is lots of information on the internet, Now What?" That sort of thing. However, after some thought, that seemed only appropriate for the very beginning articles. Once people got up to speed on those things, then a "Now What?" type of article would be insufficient for them, and they would have the knowledge necessary to actually write a "Now What?" article themselves. So I settled on RIP Guides, so that any reasonably intelligent person could pick up something at whatever level they are at.

I remember when I first saw the internet. There was no world wide web, and there were no web browsers and you were unlikely to see it or have access to it if you were not in college, or some very large corporation or possibly high up in the military. There was archie, and gopher, and ftp, and news groups. Finding things was a chore, and you had to learn some fairly unintuitive tasks but it could be done. Things are much more convenient now. You can find countless websites, forums, blogs, suppliers, wikis and other information on pretty much any subject in which you have an interest. However, that presents a new set of dilemmas. First, you have so much information it is easy to get overwhelmed. Secondly, you have a plethora of inaccurate, incomplete and even some flat out false information that has to be filtered out. However, as a reasonably intelligent person, you do this. You check your facts and sources one against the other, gain information from other sources (like books... remember those :) ) and then with your working knowledge to go forward. Soon enough you find that you are meeting people that have the same questions you had in the beginning only now you can answer them!!

That is what this is all about. I have several topics that I am intending to write articles about. In addion to them, I am going to ask some people that I know with interests in specific areas to contribute articles. I will also be looking to the readership to offer ideas, subject matter in which they are interested. If you feel you would like to contribute that would be great too. I will probably accept requests and try to match them up with people interested in contributing on those ideas.

Eventually I will come up with some writing guidelines, and editing strategies, but for now I will let all those details evolve. Currently, I don't even have a logo for the project, and will entertain suggestions in that area as well.

I am considering whether I want to accept sponsorships and place click or banner ads. I am still on the fence, and no one has officially offered so I will deal with that when it becomes a real issue. However, even if I do, they will have to be unobtrusive, since as a reasonably intelligent person, I don't appreciate being slammed in the face with ads, but will consider looking at something that strikes my interest.

Well there you have it, my treatise on this new project! I am excited and can't wait to see what direction it takes!

Feel free to contact me via eMail at here but please don't forget to include [RIPGuides] somewhere in the subject line or I may lose it to my spam filtering software.