Complex Systems can unfold in multiple trajectories. However, there may be trajectories that become more stable of 'fit'. Such states are considered 'attractor states' to which a system tends to gravitate.
Attractor States or 'basins of attraction' and can be visualized as part of a fitness landscape.
Complex Adaptive Systems do not obey predictable, linear trajectories. They are Sensitive to Initial Conditions and small changes in these conditions can lead the system to unfold in entirely unexpected ways. That said, some of these 'potential unfoldings' are more likely to occur than others. We can think of these as 'attractor states' to which a system - out of all possible states - will tend to gravitate. However, these attractor states may also shift over time, and are subject to system disruptions or what is referred to as a Perturbation. Attractor states can also emerge gradually over time, as the system evolves, but once present can reinforce itself by constraining the actions of the agents forming the system. Thus we can think of Silicon Valley as being an emergent attractor for tech firms, that has, over time, reinforced its position. When a system finds itself 'trapped' in a basin of attraction (such that it cannot explore other potential configurations that may be more fit, it is considered to be in an Enslaved States .
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