A usually simple exercise of logic on a hypothetical or observed situation. Often done in pleasure (of thinking), though basic and quick - as much an exercise of one's intellect as, well-masturbation is to one's love life. Aside from self-love that is.
In light of this - sometimes I'll run into a group of people all energetically discussing a social issue - such as, the idea of evil food corporations. 'it's ridiculous how unhealthy fast food is.' 'yeah and here lower income people have really poor diets' 'oh yeah...I read a study of how corporations purposely target bad food to poor people,' and so on, until - it ends with the consensus of some pithy conviction ('need to raise the standard of food!'), where everyone is feeling little smug with the rush of righteousness that gently strokes that sense of moral superiority.
When I try and describe this self-indulgent righteousness all I can think about is a circle of guys holding each others dicks standing there feeling quite pleased with themselves.