From Ivy League scholars to country presidents, mediocrity permeates society’s highest echelons. Indeed, we remain defenseless against it in the 21st century. We are hard at work battling world financial crises, poverty and social inequality even as we produce mediocre leaders who proliferate populist, symptomatic, efficient but not effective “solutions” to these and other pressing issues. Democracy itself, the most advanced social construct to date, is no match for mediocrity. I propose keeping mediocrity in check is a much more effective way to go about our world’s progress. We would first need to understand how it evades society’s filters.