The role of computer code in transliteracy

Yesterday I gave a talk at the ELO Visionary Landscapes Conference at Washington State University, Vancouver WA.
There was a suggestion from the audience that programming code should be mentioned in the definition of transliteracy. My response was that this would be confusing, since the definition is meant to be widely accessible, and code is a very media-specific element. Thinking about it further, if you included it, you'd have to refer to all the other communicative mechanisms too and the definition would get rather unwieldy.
Later, Nick Montfort blogged this at Grand Text Auto

“Transliteracy” reads the computer as a communication device, but as I understand it, this concept does not fully embrace the computer as a vehicle for simulation and computation – as a device for augmenting human intellect or a tool for thought. That comptuers can be programmed is not mentioned in the First Monday article, for instance.
We recognize that if we want to learn to drive a car, “automotive literacy” is not enough. We need to understand how to operate a vehicle – as well as learning the protocols of the road.

Of course this is true, but I wonder how far it is reasonable to expect the person in the street to be code-literate, and is it very different from being able to understand, for example, the maths and engineering principles behind say a TV set?

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