Estimated processing times are always as posted on the USCIS website.
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As to your first question, I do not think anything. You are fine and you should be patient. Engaging in speculation is counterproductive.
As to your second question, please do nor concern yourself with those matters. You are a visitor. Why would you care how the system works?
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You are struggling with the inconsistency and confusion that confronts immigration lawyers and their clients on a daily basis. I don't know if ELIS is currently getting faster processing than paper filings or not, but I believe that it eventually will, and it is certainly the wave of the future. Most universities are now using the ELIS system.