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How We Organize the Info

The heart of the site is Presentations. Every presentation has one or more Speakers associated with it. Presentations happen at Events. Events are physical or virtual gatherings, such as conferences, debates, interviews, and podcasts. When the presentation becomes available in a format you can watch or hear, that is a Publication. This is the overall structure of the data:

Events -> Presentations -> Speakers -> Publications

The site provides tools aimed at helping you answer certain kinds of questions:

  • Where can I watch, hear, or read a specific presentation?
  • Where did a specific presentation come from? How does it fit into the timeline?
  • What presentations have been given on a particular topic?
  • What presentations are coming up?
  • What events have I attended?
  • What presentations have I already heard?
  • Who has attended the same events I have attended?


Search works with single or multiple keywords. Search recognizes certain words as "special". Searches respond slightly different in each subject area.


Event searches recognize years, countries, and US states as search terms.

  • A four-digit number will be treated as a year and match events from that year, e.g. 1992
  • A country name will find events in that country, e.g. Norway
  • A two-character state abbreviation will find events in that state, e.g. GA
  • A city name will find events in that city Boston

Event Types

Events are categorized as Conferences, Debates, Interviews, Series, Speeches, and Tours. Events may have a physical location or be broadcast. We use the modern name, virtual events, but these include TV and radio appearances, as well as internet broadcasts. Event searches can be narrowed by selecting the event type, for example:

  • Event type speech, and search term Boston will find the Ford Hall Forum talks.

Series events contain thematically related presentations over an extended period, but without the structure of a conference. A series with virtual presentations (such as the Philosophy for Living On Earth webinars) has no location. A series may have multiple locations (such as the ARI Road to a Free Society series). In this case, each presentation has a separate date and city. Podcasts, such as Don Watkins' Commentaries on OPAR are also categorized as a series event.


Presentations can be found by a word from the presentation name or the speaker first or last name. In addition to general search terms, presentations also use tags. A presentation with political subject matter may not have the literal word "politics" in the title or description. But you can find it when it's been given the tag politics . Clicking on these tags in the search results will start a tag-based search. Some examples:


Speaker search is straightfoward search terms match the first or last time, such as Smith


Presentations have publications –– some form of media that is a record of a specific presentaiton. Publications can be recorded on a variety of media types. These are represented by icons:

  • CD
  • Campus
  • DVD/Blu-ray
  • FaceBook
  • Instagram
  • Mokuji
  • Online
  • Podcast
  • Print
  • Soundcloud
  • Tape
  • VHS
  • Vimeo
  • Vinyl
  • YouTube
  • e-Store

Sometimes a talk will have multiple copies of the same icon. This usually happens when the talk is split into multiple parts. Hovering on the icon will reval the specific part.

Publication searches recognize years, speaker names, and media formats as search terms.

  • A four-digit number will be treated as a year and match events from that year, e.g. 1997
  • A year and a format type can be combined, e.g. print 2013
  • In order to find publications for a specific speaker, the full name needs to be enclosed in quotes, e.g. "Aaron Smith" rather than just Aaron Smith which will match all Aaron and all Smith publications.
  • Publication search also can match on publisher, but this data is still in development, so there aren't many matches. For example, "Ayn Rand Bookstore"