One pattern of learning is to delve deep into a subject, going far beneath the surface to find the treasures that no one else sees. These mines hold treasures, and they’re unassailable–but it’s easy to block the entrance to the “surface” world.
Another pattern is that of the Mongol hordes. Their pattern was to move fast, spend a bit of time securing the territory, and then sweep onward, taking with them a harvest of intellectuals and craftsmen from the conquered cities. They were formidable…and as they went, their culture changed to something new.
The Mandelbrot set, a fractal, is infinite in detail, yet it fits in a constrained space. Yeast also grows in fractal fashion, yet in expansionary mode.
The empire of the mind needs to produce its own treasure. The empire needs intellectual raiders.