There seems to be a rapidly growing number of routine duplicate questions. For example, I collected a list of 20 questions similar to the debate about "Storing Images in Database or File System" in my answer here before I got tired of copying and pasting links. This seems to be out of control.
Would it really make sense to merge all these questions together into a single one? Firstly, the relative number of votes is partly biased by the popularity of a specific question. i.e., the oldest question has answers with vote counts like 352, 140, 99, 56, etc. If this question was merged with the rest, all the other answers to all the other duplicate questions would instantly become below the fold, regardless of their relative usefulness to the main question.
Is there a way we could begin to handle this better than fragmented exact duplicates, such as:
Build graphs of questions marked as exact duplicates of each other, and any graphs with more than, say, 5 nodes should get a dedicated community-maintained canonical reference question. (I wonder if such a query is already possible with the Stack Exchange Data Explorer?)
Build a library of these exact duplicates questions as a "Common Questions" reference tab.
The canonical reference question would contain a link to all related duplicate questions.
When a question is closed as exact duplicate of a question that is part of a "duplicate question pool", the duplicate tag displayed automatically links to the canonical reference question instead of the one the user closing the question selected.
When displaying possible duplicates list as a user is entering a question, prefer questions from this "Common Questions" list as they are more likely to be related and catch the user's attention.