Yeah, I struggle with this stuff too.
Actually, I think you would find it quite easy to boost your e-literacy if you are willing to put in a little effort.
They (the IT generation) assume prior knowledge and familiarity with techno terms, so don't offer any instructions/glossary for '5 year olds'. Is it any wonder we struggle?
You should make an effort to become minimally literate in the technologies you use. Its been around for ages now. I would suggest the w3c primers on basic web stuff:http://www.w3schools.com/web/default.asp
if you can get thru that, I highly recommend doing the tutorials at code academy. http://www.codeacademy.com
Think of it as a basic survival course for living in the 21st century.
There is a digital divide, but it doesn't have much to do with age, its about becoming familiar with technology in a way that lets you control it, not vice versa.
Its true that people comfortable with technology have issues interacting with those who merely consume it. I have heard the term 'normals' used derogatorily to describe people that don't even try to understand technology. I prefer to think of it as a conflict between those that are called Digital Immigrants (people like yourself that just want to use technology) with Digital Natives (those that have competencies in the creative and technical tools used to power the digital age.
It's a common malaise of the IT/internet generation, where contributors assume (or ignore) that all people do not understand their terminology.
is it really hubris to find it frustrating that otherwise literate people can't recognise a pattern where its obvious that ampersands are used as a delimiter everything to the right of it was extraneous?
See how different it is between us? I don't understand how people who can't do this can actually feed themselves. You see it as greek. That's the problem.
I could offer the same standard of advice for some of them on a few subjects, and I think I could confound them, but that is'nt the aim if stating a point of view or providing info. I'd rather assume no knowledge at all, if I really wanted to get my message across to all readers.
yeah, but I'm not trying fly a plane or any of that crap. This is web technology 101 - if you aren't going to make an effort - why should everyone keep enabling you? YOu have access at your fingertips to technical resources that couldn't even be dreamt of 10 years ago.
Use google, try to understand it - THEN ask for help - you'll get a totally different response.
Therefore I would start with a basic explanation/glossary from first base. I think this prior knowledge/inadequate definition thing affects older people more (not Dodge - he seems to be a whizz).
Dodge isn't afraid to learn, explore, ask questions. He isn't afraid to break things. He has a hacker mentality. That's why you consider him a 'whiz'.