Just when you thought Steve Pinker was gaining traction in the argument that things are getting better, a conference like this bring you down to the level:
For a conference dedicated to human rights, there was a lot to talk about this year. The Freedom Forum, which showcases and celebrates the stories of dissidents, had an abundance of offerings at a time when the world’s problems seem to keep multiplying. This is a place you can come to and get depressed about a lot more than Ebola and the Islamic State, and then wash your worries away with wine and reindeer served several ways — it is Norway, after all.
The speakers kept prodding the audience to remember their corners of the world. But there are so many dark corners that it was easy to feel discouraged, even among such a display of courage.