Is there an empirical method of measuring progress? How can we account for piecewise progress, for example VR had a massive interest in the 80s, went into a winter in the 90s, reinstalled in 2012 by Palmer Lucky, similarly , AI went into a 10 year winter due to Minsky's critic of Rosenblatt. It seems that progress is not linear, but stochastic and maybe a complex thing to model, it appears that it is not a monolith of which we arrive to but constantly happening in complex ways. The perceptron was intended to be a hardware machine, first implemented on software. This theory is similar to the Hardware Lottery published by Sara Hooker , implying that ideas in Software Research are successful not because they are correct but due to the available hardware to solve those problems.
Secondly, what would be necessary for a hypothetical golden age to emerge, is it building a new city, restructuring organisations (university, government), rebirth(renaissance), cataclysm (covid,climate change) or simply moving slowly towards reform.