Rule #4: The universe does not recognize the impetus of success.
"Past Performance is no indicator of future success."
"What have you done for me lately?" is our slient universes's favorite question. We like to think that past vicotries count for something. that our work accumulates. Builds to a climax or a final, cathartic win.
It doesn't really.
About 3 days without water, 3 hours without heat, or 3 minutes without air and it's all gone. Sure, you climb up the social ladder a way, but but you only get back a fraction of what you give up.
Whether it's cold physics or a fickle society, you're always tossing pieces of yourself down a hole to get back scraps.