One certain way to seek (and sometime, find) a solution is trial and error. Conceptually, it appeared destined for oblivion as bulk of human knowledge grew to lessen the sea of unknown. As, a large part of knowledge created increasingly grows dated, the degree of uncertainty remains the same. Some might even say that over the past decade, it has grown!
Knowledge may also be defined on scale of certainty. If in a particular village the sun would rise between one specific tree on left and another specific tree (or rock) on right, one could be sure that this direction may safely be called east. Mystics have always made fun of the idea of such ‘ascertained’ knowledge.