What causes bottlenecks? What causes things to get trapped? What causes processes to halt, block and stop themselves? Why does traffic beget traffic? (Note that in matters of causality, there are those processes which affect themselves, not terribly difficult from the mathematics and typology of knots in a rope. We have processes which are self-catalyzing and which accelerate themselves such as a ball rolling down a hill or a nuclear bomb's fission triggering a hydrogen bomb type explosion. Then we have also can observe processes which stop themselves as a ball making a soft landing; a car coming to rest after colliding with another car or a forest fire burning itself out as it runs out of fuel.
Consider the proverbial gridlock as two lanes of traffic merge into one. The better way of drivers to approach this “obstacle, is the non-zero sum fashion where they cooperate by taking turns; starting to merge early, being courteous and facilitating others to get through faster. Zero sum is the opposite of games such as checkers or the card game of war or a dual where there is one winner and one loser and often fights until death. In that case, the merging drivers construe the merger as a battle zone, like a duel, and wish to block other cars even at the risk of colliding, because to their ego it is more important that the other driver does not get ahead even if he loses. It is akin to cutting off one's nose to spite his face. .
Consider a house of cards made up of pairs of cards leaning against each other. Because each card in each pair “wants” to fall down and leans into the other, they result in a balanced network and the “effort" (inclination) to fall down is what keeps them up. This writer calls the process "cooperative antagonism” aka “antagonistic cooperation.” It is common in sports to spot zero sum orientations, play as if their lives depended upon it. It thus becomes self-contradictory. Zero Sum Thinking innately Aristotelian i.e. the “law of the excluded middle.”
Extreme joy and orgasm can take life to the point of death. The more one spins oneself on drugs, joys, obsessions the more likely one is to hurl oneself to self destruction.
We really cannot begin to understand so much of what takes place in the world without understanding the essences and ramifications of zero and non zero sum games.