The concept of zero of being nothing or just a place holder has done extraordinary damage to the collective consciousness. Primarily for the reason, of improperly seeding the perception of what is existence or not. While 1 + 0 (nothing)=1, 2-2 = ~0 (absence of something) ≠(nothing). For once something exists it is the permanent part of a set, eternally. Zero may be of greater value to what is perceived than any other number or point.
Without it, there is no perception. Therefore when zero represents the conclusion of two non-zero constants or variables, it is not the same as one variable or constant in a formula with nothing. Yet 1×0 = 0 = 0x0 = 0x∞ One Apple multiplied by zero apples ≠ Zero Apples unless in the collective consciousness zero is intended to be defined as voiding existence. Where Zero needs to be perceived as moving from one set to another, as what mostly exists is always transient between sets.