The point is that if it isn't a zero sum game, then what drives it? What I mean is that if it isn't, all conservation laws becomes questionable. And it becomes a very different 'universe' in where most physics should need to be redefined, probably this equation too. When Einstein defined time as a illusion I think he went from a archetypal idea of a universe we all expect us to exist in, in a way a 'container universe', although defined through observer dependencies. Dimensions and constants setting its limits. If you instead use 'degrees of freedom' to define it, adding local constants as the 'common ground' we observe from, you can get to a different definition in where dimensions becomes our 'illusion', not time.