Well, I just had to write about this since people in general and some, in particular, like to regurgitate the same things again and again. Regurgitating[1], of course, adds value for yourself if you are going to learn and practice but it adds little value to the already existing knowledgebase. Internet especially because of its open nature is a place where regurgitating ideas and information happens on a much larger scale. Sometimes they are just clickbait[2] and sometimes they are outright wrong in the information that is being presented.

This is generally a waste of resources and time since no new information is added. Regurgitation does not extrapolate or induce new ideas to already existing ones. There is no added benefit and/or value (derived / direct / indirect). The best it can do is not distort the information for the unoriented and the worst it can do is create totally false and divergent information with some roots in facts and most other in baseless assumptions.

Parsing information over the net and getting to understand the context, as well as the base of the information, is a very good engineering problem. Identification of fake news, for instance, is one such area where quite a few algorithms are implemented. But the problem with such algorithms is that they only allow for regurgitation of information. Any content which builds up on top of the regurgitated information can be detected as “anomaly” in the fake news detecting algorithms.

Personally, I think academia is doing the right thing. Any regurgitated information needs to be properly referenced. Ideas that are built on information which is not referenced properly should be rejected. This is not something new, blockchain is already based on such a referencing scheme just to name one of the technologies. In the ideal world, if all the information is referenced properly, one can focus on plagiarism instead of an anomaly detection routine to get rid of regurgitated information without restricting the building of new ideas and concepts.

As one of my friends always used to say, everything builds on top of one another. Her argument was that if even our imaginations, dreams, etc. build-up on existing information that is available to us. And I kind of agree with her on that aspect. So to conclude, let’s regurgitate information but make proper references and remove plagiarism.

[1] –
[2] –