>On that same vein, if a ternary operation is going to throw someone for a loop, I've got some bad news about their career in programming.
You're right about someone having and issue if they can't understand this on it's own. What was the last application you worked in where that single line is all you had to understand to accomplish whatever task you were working on?
The bigger constructs expressed in functions, classes, etc, are where the attention should really be.
The smaller ideas expressed in single lines of code are, should be, insignificant in terms of cognitive load.
There are some exceptions to this, in particular very high performant code. We all know that "premature optimization...".
It's a question of trade offs but you cant entirely ignore one or the other