One Original Thought Worth a Thousand Quotings

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This Banksy street art can be found on a wall on the corner of Jay Street and Water Street in Brooklyn, New York. It shows a person, arguably a male adolescent, depicted in black and white sitting on what appears to be a trash basket. He is holding a red crayon and beside him is a quote in bright red, from the Greek Cynic philosopher Diogenes of Sinope (also known as Diogenes the Cynic). It states, “One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings.”

Some people have mistakenly attributed this quote to another person of the same name, Diogenes Laertius. This is an understandable error. Diogenes Laertius is actually a Greek historian who recorded the lives and popular statements made by many of the great Greek philosophers. He is known to have quoted extensively from Diogenes of Sinope. The remaining records of this cynic philosophers work can be found in the writings of Diogenes Laertius. Of Diogenes the Cynics own writings, none have survived.

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