Substitute for Knowledge

In most human endeavour there are few resources of greater value than knowledge. There is no substitute for knowledge — except that there kinda is. After all, there is no great master from whom all lessons can be imparted; when it comes to the discovery of new things we, as a species, are largely on our own. Of course we can access the knowledge of our contemporaries and forebears; the very notion of education is a structured, high intensity exercise of this very process, but our knowledge is finite. Our knowledge is subject to revision and refinement.

It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.
— Claude Bernard

So the substitute for knowledge is method. The structured investigation of a problem, eliminating all possibilities until only one remains. A good method, defined and adhered to, eliminates the natural human propensity for mistakes (at least to some degree) and bias. Even when a method fails to find the answer, you should have learned enough to define a better and more informed process with which to try again. The testament to a good method is that even when it's result is already certain we can utilise it to maintain the quality of our endeavours. We have process and procedure, codified and followed even when their implementation feels tedious or onerous. If you can follow the steps in order the dance will take care of itself.

The structured investigation of truth is the very seed of knowledge, and wherever your knowledge is lacking, it is only the application of method that will lead to enlightenment.