That's one of my life principles as well: don't have high hopes and be prepared for the worst possible outcome, than you won't be disappointed if the worst comes to the worst. And if things turn out better than you expected, well, you may be even encouraged or just glad which is not so bad in itself.
But, in my opininon, it is still worth hoping for the better, not worse. Hope often is the only thing many people have, their last refuge. It is the only thing we all have. It is not human to deprive us all of this last refuge. )So, I do not approve of this way as a guiding life principle, but to use it as a psychological trick for some situations is quite OK. Some superstitious people do so, I guess.
The general tone of this article seemed rather pessimistic to me. I would like to wish you, Ilya, more optimism in the coming year. :) Of course, I know the saying that a pessimist is a well-informed optimist, )but still believe that to be a well-informed optimist is quite possible no matter how hard it might seem.
I am all for the advice to use your mind and critical thinking. This applies to everything actually, especially the news. Don't buy everything you are sold, don't be gullible and naive, don't believe words and ungrounded accusations. Any opinion-maker just expresses his or her opinion and it is up to you to decide how close it is to reason. I say to reason, not truth, because it is really hard to get to the truth. Anyone has his own truth, probably the only one often does not exist. I would just suggest to be more selective in the flow of information, this endless muddy flood, as Ilya put it. Selective according to your tastes and interests. And, possibly, you will find some serene spring or a remote well where it would be pleasant to immerse yourself and enjoy the peace and quiet among all the current rat race...
Sorry for so many words. I did not expect it to be that way. Wish everyone happy holidays and all the best in the New Year. Hope, some will share their ideas.