[ by Charles Cameron — a third can destabilize two, but it can also ignore or deny them ]
I’ve written previously about ternary logic and games of three, which open up questions about alliances and trust, some of which President Trump might want to ponder next time he feels like wading into NATO or sidling up to Putin.
When the gameplay is equitable, there is no “third” — just a succession of “seconds” — or in strategic terms, repidly shifting alliances. When the “third” is a constant, at least for a while, he she or it is at times a peace-maker, at times the one to be bypassed by the other two players — andd as here, at times the one who doesn’t want to know!
Anyway, a worthy addition to my earlier posts:
Zenpundit, Spectacularly non-obvious, I: Elkus on strategy & games Zenpundit, Spectacularly non-obvious, 2: threeness games
— and there re very likely others..