He doesn't mean 'specific' as in 'clear,' he means it as in 'narrow.' So it may be vague, but you're misunderstanding him. Perhaps learning about 'tradition' VS. 'modern' all by yourself could be a really fun experience. Then you can answer your own question. Have a good one!
Traditional: composite (gain) -> particulars (loss), top down
Modern: particulars (gain) -> composite (loss), bottom up
Perhaps I was too quick to criticize, but I found it interesting and thought it merited some discussion which might have begun with an explanation. Having looked at it myself, though, it makes perfect sense.
'Modern' is of the moment (thus pertinent), but often irrelevant in the grand scheme. 'Tradition' is established (thus valid), but often general.