One thing that stands out to me in all of this is the distinct impression that this isn’t a change in the RULES, it’s just a change in the enforcement. According to the (very polite) email they sent out, they have always had a policy against duplicate content. They’re just asking people to follow rules that were already in place, and they’ve clarified what they mean by duplicate content, but the intention is the same as it’s always been.
I am choosing NOT to freak out about this change, partially because I agree with you about adaptability. And partially because when I unlist old stories, I don’t just republish them. I whittle them down and use their bones to create something new and better. I would think that if the new article is changed enough that it could pass a plagiarism check, it probably doesn’t fall under duplicate content.
It seems to me that they are being really forward in giving people the benefit of the doubt and the chance to make corrections. It does not seem to me that they are just suspending accounts this way and that without warning. I think that this enforcement is actually an opportunity for people to work on improving their writing and being creative about new ideas.