I don't think anyone would bash you if you are asking serious questions and not bashing others . please feel free to post your questions here, there are a lot of smart people here that are willing to answer.Just remember when calling some one an idiot - you never know who is reading your post.
What you are describing is called shielded cable. That silver foil is the shield that helps keep the wiring from picking up unwanted signals. The silver wire is called a drain wire. On most electronic equipment like fire alarm systems and Security systems you must join the drains, insulate,and isolate them from any ground source. They are connected at one point in the system ,usally the panel.