We cannot oppose progress through technology without irony, because we are products of medical science, information technology and the industrial revolution. (In some sense, I think Doctorow seems to be saying that we are already trans-human.)
According to Doctorow, to use technology to preserve the status quo is to deny something about what we are as human beings and this powerful observation is the thread which ties the novella to the other essays in the book and to the rest of Doctorow’s work. It explains his distaste for DRM technologies — the subject of the address in the book — and guides all his fiction — the subject of the interview which closes the book.
What makes Doctorow’s story so unique is that in almost every science fiction story meat-space is privileged over cyber-space. The hero wins when they successfully resist technology and establish their humanity as an opposing force against the tyranny of the machine. Doctorow and other techno-positive thinkers like him argue forcefully that such thinking can only lead to dystopia and suffering.