non-zero sum game


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non-zero sum game

a situation in GAME THEORY where game players, by choosing appropriate strategies, can collectively increase the total payoff available to all players. For example, by collaborating over their advertising and promotion, two firms may be able to expand the total market for a product so that both are able to increase their sales and profits.
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The law of the jungle may be all some species are capable of, but in the non-zero sum game of social interaction, humans (and a few other animals) have discovered that if we treat each other brutally, we will lose (on average).
And global prosperity will be enhanced wherein everyone will be better off in a non-zero sum game. Needless to say, there exists the probability function of risk and uncertainty that could derail the prospects for convergence, including the probability of Chinese internal political strife, US retaliation to Chinese arms buildup, Indo-Pakistani nuclear war, world trade war, and/or other foreseeable and not foreseeable negative events.
As London notes of the common good, so Mann noted of health and human rights in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic: they are not opposed but can much more fruitfully be analyzed as supporting each other in a non-zero sum game that has win-win (and loss-loss) outcomes.