Notability is a contentious notion on Wikipedia. It originally entered Wikipedia jargon on Votes For Deletion (as was) as a euphemism for “I don’t like it.” (I was there and watched this happen. I was one of those saying “rubbish, there’s no such rule.” So of course someone wrote a rule.) It’s an obvious notion — of course we don’t want non-notable things on Wikipedia — but its application is grossly problematic, because it’s so subjective in practice and becomes a hideous source of systemic bias. So inside the wiki people argue endlessly, and outside the wiki it becomes a source of horrible public relations because it’s so obviously subjective and applied subjectively. And it trashes our usefulness for the Long Tail, thus damaging our breadth, one of our greatest strengths.
(I don’t want to seem to be minimising the Firehose Of Crap problem. There are 6,000 deletions every day at present. “Notability” is also a euphemism for a quite justifiable “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS CRAP WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU THINKING.” Anyone who thinks they’re an inclusionist needs to read all of Special:Newpages. Once should be enough.)
Now, then. The policy on biographies of living people was written in a real hurry after the Seigenthaler fuckup: Jimbo declared “this damn well needs fixing” and it had to be swung. So I wrote the second draft based strictly on neutrality, verifiability and no original research, so as to avoid the peril of sympathetic point of view becoming mandatory. And it stuck. Because these are the three fundamental content policies of the wiki that aren’t up for a vote — if you disagree with them, you’re on the wrong project — it was easy to support an important guideline from the fundamentals.
Your assignment: Construct a useful notion of “notability” using only neutrality, verifiability and no original research. Look to the living biographies policy for how it was done previously. Note in particular: you may not use What Wikipedia is not (especially that “indiscriminate collection of information” one, which is most often explained in terms of phone books but applied in practice as a euphemism for “fancruft”). You may only use the three fundamental rules on content.