Hi George, please remember that there is no such thing as a dumb question, you ask because you do not understand, and that is how most of us learn - which is what Moodle is all about.
I am not sure why you would want to access the file picker outside of a resource or an activity anyway, but you have something in mind. I do agree there is a number of issues around the new file picker, but in some ways it is actually more comprehensive than the old, more flexible that is for sure, but in others it is still too unfriendly. The Moodle file system is more of a mystery than it used to be, which is a response to criticisms of the old. However, using Course Server files area, most of the problems around the new file structure disappear.