DeLanda describes quite convincingly in his book Intensive Science & Virtual Philosophy, that extensive properties are produced by the process of symmetry breaking from intensive properties, which in turn were produced from virtual differences. A symmetry break happens when an “object” becomes no longer invariant to a transformation or behavior. For example a sphere is invariant to all rotations about its central axis, but if the sphere where stretched into a cube, only rotations of 90° would be invariant. A symmetry breaking process is said to have occurred. DeLanda’s most common example of a symmetry breaking process is the phase transitions of water from gas to liquid to solid.
So an intensive field is one of temperatures, pressures, densities, etc. Differences across a field will drive the becoming of the extensive. Like heat flowing from a hot object to a cool, energy and matter will flow from intensive differences and produce the behaviors and capacities of extensive reality in which we live. The weather is an excellent example of a highly intensive process. Yet within an intensive field exist certain singularities called attractors and repellers. These singular points don’t actually exist but are virtual. By virtual, I mean that these points can not be occupied as actual states of the system, but they have a profound actual effect on all the states around them. These special singular points in turn change over time. Allowing the system to adapt and evolve. As the intensive field changes and additional energy and matter flows are added, additional singularities unfold from the old ones. This is what DeLanda refers to as a bifurcation. It is at these bifurcations that symmetry breaking will occur.