To get work outside of academics I luckily had my mathematical background to fall back on. I barely used it at Arthur Andersen, except for a general facility with analytic thinking and computer programming. I learned to design mainframe computer systems for massive nationwide billing cycles and other financial services for large corporations. Part of the requirement was putting up with “Arthur’s” stultifying corporate culture which required a suit and tie, not even a sport coat, each day of the week. I was somewhat frustrated that so little real mathematics was involved, not to mention the sweltering Houston heat.

At the same time I was lucky to get introduced to the world of management consulting. For myself and others it was a convenient entree into the business world, one which today is quickly disappearing because of globalization. Today much of the same work is being shipped offshore where similarly, able young people are can quickly master the techniques needed to design computer applications for large businesses.

After a couple years, I insisted to my wife that we head back for California. She had a half-year sabbatical which we stretched to one year using our savings. I wanted a break from Arthur and intended to research several topics I had discovered through my Lakatos research and to write some academic papers. The topics included the history of skepticism, the origins of Greek mathematics, 19th-century history of mathematics and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. I knew Lakatos had survived the latter and wrote a few speculative pages in my thesis Introduction on Lakatos in the context of 1956. It would be several more years before the entire wicked story would be known by more than just a few people in Hungary.

I got a good start on several papers which were published over the following years, and started looking for a California job. My wife obtained a position at UC Santa Cruz so we didn’t have to return to Texas. We traveled together to Budapest in 1987 and met Lakatos’ teacher, the Greek philologist and historian of mathematics Arpad Szabo.

I found mathematical work in Monterey and adjunct teaching at the Naval Postgraduate School. The retiree setting in Monterey was ultimately dismal in its serene beauty. Soon before our our first child was born in 1988 I landed a job at a remarkable consulting firm in Menlo Park, California called Applied Decision Analysis.