A study by the School of Information Management and Systems at UC Berkeley acknowledges there is much duplication out there, but gives “original content” a very strict definition. There’s much more duplication that simple file duplication, if you take into account concept propagation. They’ll consider different articles on the same topic all original content, even though the spin might be the same.
We shouldn’t feel more clever because we create a sea of yottabytes to drown in. That’s how they conclude their essay but they fail to point at the core point: how to pick unique, original content from its many watered-down copycats.
I admit, I read the exec summary, not the whole study, but IMHO this point should get a prominent position in such a discussion. If you look at the sound bytes of this study, you get the feeling world knowledge is now dominated by US-based digital content. I feel a few religious and philosophical books written hundreds of years ago have more influence than all this bulk they write about. It’s always surprising how ancient Roman or Greek writings still seem up-to-date.