Non-Zero Sumness

Every interaction you have with other human beings has a sumness characteristic. Chess is a zero-sum game since there is one winner and loser. Poker is a negative-sum game for the players since the casino takes a cut. Negative-sum games are often harder to win. The global economy is a positive-sum game since the net wealth amount grows as technology improves. This does not mean you can’t lose in a positive-sum game.

You are going to do better if you can create positive-sum situations. It’s rare to be successful on your own compared to on a team. You often need to be working with people and making win-win situations.

Two things need to happen for nonzero-sum interaction. Self-reliance is the first part. You also need to be willing to contribute.

One of the key principles in life in and out of game in the long term is to make things positive-sum. Pure cold approach game is roughly zero-sum. There are a certain amount of girls who were planning on going home with guys.

If you went home with one girl, one other guy didn’t. 

If you’re really good at game, you can actually make it positive-sum by bringing home a girl who wasn’t planning on going home with a guy. A social circle situation is positive-sum by nature. People as friends are getting together and meeting new people who are useful to them in other ways of life. It may seem easier to approach in a social circle since the threshold for getting value is lower.

When he was younger, Todd was frustrated about why the clearly best soccer player on a team would pass the ball. It seemed like the team lost points every time he passed. One thing was that the player who passed more often enjoyed the sport more and went further with the sport. The players’ teammates also got better the more passes they got, which led to accomplishments in the future. 

Be aware that you need a team to get big things in your life. You could be better off by yourself in the short term. It is always better to have a team in the long term.