Jen Pollock Michel on the limits of public intellectuals

To satiate the ravenous demands of digital readers, a public intellectual today might easily ignore the limits of her knowledge and attempt to become as boundary-less as the unbounded waters of the internet…

As believers, we affirm one of the paradoxes of the human condition put this way by G. K. Chesterton: We are “chief of creatures” but creatures nonetheless. We are called to do good work courageously and faithfully, and part of our courage and faithfulness involves admitting the responsibilities that do and do not belong to us.

God isn’t taking applications for Messiah; he’s already sent one. Accordingly, let’s give to our public intellectuals the permission to say more about less. 

Jen Pollock Michel

Illusions of Influence

I think the Internet can give us a tremendous advantage when it comes to influencing people. We can reach so many with our ideas, thoughts, and motivations that we would have otherwise had no chance of approaching. And these dreams can spread like a virus, sometimes becoming reality. I don’t want to minimize the reality or importance of this power.

On the other hand…

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