Thank goodness for arcane unintelligibility! Hurrah for gobbledygook! For without it, there could never be any public intellectuals. In fact, the lifeblood of scholars who are public intellectuals is exactly the kind of complex and often indecipherable academic work that Kristof bemoans. You cannot have one without the other.
If you want to start living an extraordinary life, make a positive difference in the life of just one person. When you do this, something amazing happens. You gain a deeper understanding of who you are and the fulfillment of knowing that you've helped make one small corner of the world a better place.