One must not get lost in the system they've created or surrounded themselves with. Scientists and mathematicians often produce their most notable work when they are young and still new to their industry. This is because they haven't acclimated to their surroundings and are trying new things out.

Humans enjoy comfort rather than disruption. But disruption is what creates great things. Naval Ravikant has said “Your real resume is just a catalogue of your suffering” which seems to be true. At the end of your life you will look at the things which made you suffer in the short-term but you were grateful for in the long-term.

So the reason why great mathematicians and scientists produce their best work while they're young is because they don't want to ruin their reputations. Once they have become notable for something after throwing countless darts on the board they get comfortable with their position in the hierarchy. They get complacent and don't strive to achieve greatness. From their position of status they make it harder for beginners to overcome what they themselves have achieved. Why? Because if someone comes up with a better theory or workaround then the “great one” loses status and is no longer the cool kid.

But what way is there to prevent the system from being overtaken by those that don't want to lose power? The concepts to take from are survival of the fittest and equal opportunity. Those that are willing to work hard enough and smart enough to overtake those above them deserve a fair shot at it. They should not be cut down at the knees. But too many people who agree with that statement focus on the symptoms and not the root problem.

Which is exactly what it is all about. This is the chief problem with us as humans. We are too easily distracted from the root cause, we get lost in the systems we invent. Peter Thiel has previously said something along the lines of “So many people are focused on getting through a small doorway when there is a wide-open gate right around the corner”. Many peoples' favorite movies are those with a massive twist at the end. But consider what those movies have in common with systems we live and work in. Everyone watching is lost in the plot, trying to put together who the culprit might be, when it all it took to discover was to look at the character right in front of them.

It's why we must build from the fundamentals upwards. A house with a poor foundation can only reach so high before it comes tumbling down. Maybe we should consider how the foundation is built before jumping to the next level.

Building a society or a system is as simple as building a house but there is a pesky little thing called human nature getting in the way.